Friday, April 19, 2024

Delhi High Court dismisses Chirag Paswan plea against Speaker’s recognition of his uncle Paras as LJP Lok Sabha leader

The SG pointed out, How would Chirag Paswan filing this petition on behalf of the party. He has no authority or right to file this on behalf of the party. There may be other remedies. I am not here to advise. The petition is ignorant about constitutional issues.

The Delhi High Court has dismissed Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan’s plea challenging the recognition of his uncle Pasupati Kumar Paras as the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha by Speaker Om Birla. 

“It is well settled that the Speaker of the House has a right to settle the affairs of the House,” said Justice Rekha Palli while dimissing the plea. “I absolutely found no material in the petition. Having been expelled from the party, the respondents 3-7 (5 MPs of the LJP) have right to remain in the House.” 

During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared on behalf of the Union of India and objected vehemently on the maintainability of the present writ petition. The SG pointed out, “How could Chirag Paswan file this petition on behalf of the party? He has no authority or right to file this on behalf of the party. There may be other remedies. I am not here to advise. The petition is ignorant about constitutional issues.”

Senior Advocate Rajshekhar Rao, who appeared on behalf of the Speaker, submitted that the entire case is a conflict within the party. He said, “What happens outside the Parliament is outside the Parliament.” They said it is an inter-party dispute and the court should not entertain this petition. 

To this, Advocate A.K. Bajpai, appearing for Chirag Paswan, claimed that they (respondents 3-7) cannot claim who shall be the party leader. “They are expelled members of the party,” he said. 

Justice Palli replied, “That is why you can go to the Election Commission and explore your remedies. This petition is not maintainable here.” The Court asked Rao to take instructions and tell the Court about the current position. 

After taking instructions, Rao submitted, “If someone is thrown out of the party and remains in the House or in the party, and has not joined the other party. They are deemed to be the member of that party only which is well settled, according to the Supreme Court judgment. But they can’t contest the next election from the same party, but till then they shall remain in Lok Sabha deemed to be members of that party only.” 

The Court then asked the petitioner, “Is inter-party dispute to be decided by this Court? You can’t challenge the Speaker’s Order. He has given his view prima facie. You seek another remedy if you feel that they have acted wrongly against the party. I want to dismiss it with cost, you tell me how much?”

“Having examined the legal position and the facts, emerging from the record. I see no reason to entertain this petition. In these facts and circumstances, the petition deserved to be dismissed,” said the Court. 

Chirag Paswan, the LJP MP from Jamui, through his plea had submitted, “The change of leader in the Lok Sabha is the prerogative of a particular party and in the present case, Article 26 of the Constitution of the petitioner no 2 (LJP) provides the Central Parliamentary Board to decide who would be leader or Chief Whip in the House of Assembly.”

Paswan has sought directions to set aside the circular dated June 14, 2021, showing the name of Paras as the leader of LJP Party in Lok Sabha and further direct respondent no. 1 to issue a corrigendum showing the name of Chirag Paswan as the leader of the party.

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The plea alleged that none of the petitioners were called or informed about the major action, whereas, the decision was taken on the basis of a letter of the chief whip when the Parliament was not in session.

“The Speaker of the Lok Sabha has acted contrary to practice being followed since long in regard to the appointment of leader, chief whip, whip, etc, which has always been communicated by a political party and it further makes it clear when reference is given defection rule and particularly 2(f), which define the leader in House,” the plea added.


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