OP Sharma Suspension: HC Seeks Delhi Assembly’s Response



New Delhi : Delhi High Court today sought response of the Delhi Legislative Assembly on BJP MLA O P Sharma's plea against his suspension for two sessions for allegedly making derogatory remarks against AAP MLA Alka Lamba.

While noting "the issue should have been resolved amicably in the Assembly itself", Justice Manmohan Singh today listed the matter before the roster bench for further hearing on July 28.

The court, meanwhile, directed that "counter-affidavit be filed by respondent no. 1 (Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi) within six weeks".

During yesterday's arguments, the Delhi government had contended that Sharma has misled the court by saying he was thrice suspended for his comments against Lamba, a charge denied by him.

The government had also opposed maintainability of his plea on the ground that he came before the court with "unclean hands" and also that the Assembly cannot be made a party in the matter.

Sharma's lawyer argued that the Assembly's March 31 decision to suspend him was "patently illegal" as it infringed the freedom of speech privilege available to a legislator.

His lawyer also argued that the Delhi legislative Assembly cannot be "immune" from being made a party.

He also contended that the ethics committee could not have dealt with the issue of privilege of a legislator and it should have been dealt by the privileges committee.

The court had on June 8 asked both Lamba and Sharma to appear before it on June 9 "with an open mind" to resolve the issue. However, no amicable resolution was arrived at.

Delhi government had earlier told the court that Sharma has not expressed regret on what he had said about Lamba.

The court also noted in its order today that Sharma's interim plea for stay of the suspension "has become infructuous and thus, the same cannot be granted" as the session was due to conclude yesterday itself.

The special session of Delhi Assembly was, however, last evening extended by one day. The House will sit again on Monday.