Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Member of Parliament from Punjab, Raghav Chadha, has filed a civil writ petition before the Supreme Court challenging his indefinite suspension from the Rajya Sabha. Chadha’s suspension, which occurred on August 11, is under scrutiny by the Privileges Committee for allegedly proposing names to a Select Committee without obtaining consent from five Rajya Sabha members.
Chadha contends that his suspension violates the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and infringes upon Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. The civil writ petition lists the Rajya Sabha Secretariat and its Chairperson as respondents.
The MP argues that the suspension contradicts the explicit prohibition against suspending any member for a period exceeding the remainder of the sessions. He emphasizes Article 101(4) of the Constitution, asserting that an indefinite suspension effectively creates a vacancy after sixty days, amounting to prima facie illegality.
Chadha highlights the impact of his suspension on his ability to attend essential committee meetings, such as the Standing Committee on Finance and the Committee on Subordinate Legislation, which operate during parliamentary recesses. He asserts that the suspension’s de facto expulsion effect contradicts the constitutional framework.
In his plea, Chadha invokes Rule 266 of the Rajya Sabha Rules, emphasizing the Supreme Court’s position that the Chairman’s inherent power does not extend to indefinite suspensions or durations beyond the ongoing session. He argues that neither of the two privilege notices issued to him contemplated interim suspension or provided notice for such action.
Chadha’s petition also touches upon alleged targeted actions, stating that as a “vocal member” of the opposition, he has been subject to “illegal and arbitrary” attempts to dispossess him of his official accommodation in Pandara Road. The plea contends that such attempts aim to silence him and undermine the fundamental functioning of democracy.
Alongside challenging his suspension, Chadha calls on the Supreme Court to declare that the power of the Chairman under Rule 266 of the Rajya Sabha Rules does not extend to suspending a member beyond the period specified in Rule 256 of the Rajya Sabha Rules. The case promises to be a crucial legal battle at the intersection of parliamentary procedure and constitutional principles.