Rajya Sabha on Monday annulled the suspension of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Raghav Chadha, who had been suspended from the Upper House during the Monsoon session on August 11. The suspension was imposed on grounds of an alleged breach of privileges.
Chadha, representing Punjab in the Rajya Sabha, faced suspension over accusations of not seeking consent from five fellow Rajya Sabha MPs before including their names in a select committee. This committee was tasked with reviewing the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2023, which aimed to curtail the powers of the elected AAP government in Delhi over services.
The suspension, effective until the privileges committee submitted its final report, stirred controversy and legal proceedings. Following a complaint by the five MPs, the matter was referred to the privileges committee for investigation.
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On the opening day of the winter session, BJP MP GVL Narsimha Rao moved a motion leading to the revocation of Chadha's suspension. The decision was made after a Privileges Committee meeting convened in Parliament to discuss the matter.
Chadha had earlier termed the suspension patently illegal and without the authority of the law.
Faced with suspension, Chadha had moved to the top court, challenging his indefinite suspension from the Upper House. However, the Supreme Court asked Chadha to meet Jagdeep Dhankhar and tender an unconditional apology.
A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra hoped that the chairperson would take a "sympathetic" view of the matter.
The bench recorded the statements of Chadha's lawyer that the MP has no intention to affect the dignity of the House of which he is a member and he will seek an appointment with the Rajya Sabha Chairperson so that he may place an unconditional apology.
Expressing his gratitude in a video message after the suspension was lifted, Raghav Chadha thanked the Supreme Court and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar. He said, "On 11th August, I was suspended from the Rajya Sabha. I went to the Supreme Court for the revocation of my suspension. The Supreme Court took cognizance of this, and now my suspension has been revoked after 115 days... I am happy that my suspension has been removed and I want to thank the Supreme Court and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar." (With inputs from agencies)