MLA Roja suspension case – Supreme Court wants a dignified end

Thursday, April 21, 2016
New Delhi

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Thursday dealing with the petition filed by YSRCP MLA R.K.Roja challenging the judgments of Hyderabad High Court over her one year suspension from the Assembly said that the statesmanship is lacking in today’s politics and the floors of Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies resemble more like battlefields rather than a stage for intellectual debate.

A Division Bench of Justices V.Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra expressed disappointment about the standard of political debate while deciding the case of Roja who is fighting over her one year’s suspension for alleged using of abusive language against the TDP members including Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

Advises Roja to tender a personal explanation:

The Bench advised Roja to tender a personal explanation of the circumstances of her alleged behavior to the Speaker with a line noting her regret. If this was done, the court said the onus was on the Assembly to drop all three proceedings against her. Roja sought and was granted a day’s time to respond to the suggestion of the court. If she disagrees, the Bench would continue to hear her case against her suspension. However, the Bench made it clear that it was not forcing the her to apologize and was equally willing to hear and decide the case based on merits. Justice Gowda said it would only be in the larger interest that legislators of the State of Andhra Pradesh bury their hatches now and stand together to re-build their State after crippling impact of its recent bifurcation.

Jaising, counsel for Roja argued that her client was treated like an outcast. She put forth her arguments for nearly four and half hours before the Bench in details right from the way in which her client was suspended to till Division Bench judgements. She informed the Bench that the government said that Roja was placed under suspension under Rule 340(2) and later said that it was Rule 194 of the Constitution. Indira Jaising informed the court that she approached the High Court and the Single Judge Bench has stayed the orders. The fact is that if a member has to be suspended under Rule 340(2) it will be only for a session but her client was suspended for one year on December 18, 2015. If under 194, she can be suspended after the recommendations of the Privilege Committee and has to follow rules of Chapter 20 Sec. 170 to 174. But instead of not following all these, her client was suspended for one year which is violative of fundamental rights of her client. Indira Jaising quoted the suspension of six MLA in Tamil Nadu in which a Division Bench comprising of Justice J.Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar judgement that set aside the suspension.

Justice Gowda said that the main issue now before the State is not personal conflicts between politicians but the rebuilding of the State. Justice Mishra told Jaising that her client should not focus solely on the legality of her suspension but become magnanimous.

Comment on this story