The Supreme Court today admitted a petition by AAP MP Raghav Chadha, challenging his suspension from Rajya Sabha for allegedly forging signatures of MPs and proposing their names as members of a panel without their consent.
The court has sought the reply of the Rajya Sabha secretariat and also sought the Attorney General of India’s assistance in the matter. The matter will be heard next on October 30.
Hearing the matter, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said the court needs to know if a member can be suspended from Rajya Sabha when an inquiry against the MP is pending.
Mr Chadha was suspended in August after four MPs alleged that he had proposed their names as members of a house panel without their consent. The AAP MP had proposed that a select committee be set up to examine the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which gave the centre more powers in the administration of Delhi. The Bill has since become a law.
According to a Rajya Sabha bulletin, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar had received complaints from Biju Janata Dal’s Sasmit Patra, BJP’s S Phangnon Konyak, AIADMK’s M Thambidurai, and BJP’s Narhari Amin on the matter.
Following the MPs’ allegation that their names were proposed as members of the panel without their consent, the matter was referred to the privileges committee of the House. The Rajya Sabha then passed a resolution moved by Piyush Goyal, Leader of The House, to suspend Mr Chadha till the panel submits its findings in the matter.
Mr Goyal had then referred to the AAP leader’s conduct in the House as “unethical” and in “outrageous disregard of the rules”.
The AAP MP had trashed the allegations against him and said the BJP targeted him because it could not accept that a 34-year-old MP took on its tallest leaders. He had challenged BJP leaders to show any piece of paper where he forged anyone’s signature.
“The BJP’s mantra is ‘repeat a lie a thousand times, and it becomes the truth’. Following this mantra, a misinformation campaign was launched again me. That’s why I had to come before you today to clear the air,” he said.
“Whenever a controversial bill comes to the House and a member wants this bill to be discussed at length before a vote, he recommends sending it to a select committee. Names of MPs are proposed for this panel. Those who do not wish to be part of the committee can withdraw their names. When there is no signature involved, how can it be forged?” Mr Chadha had asked.
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