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High Court says ‘no’ to OP Sharma’s plea to attend Assembly session

Delhi High Court on Monday refrained from passing any interim direction to allow BJP MLA 
O P Sharma to attend the Delhi Assembly session which commenced on Monday.

Sharma was suspended from the Assembly on March 31 for two sessions for allegedly making derogatory remarks against AAP legislator Alka Lamba.

“Let me sit in the Assembly during the session. I will not even open my mouth,” Sharma’s lawyer told Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva who replied “cannot do that”. The court, thereafter, told the lawyer for the Delhi government to take instructions on who would represent the Legislative Assembly and listed the matter for hearing on Tuesday. The direction came as no one till date has appeared before the court on behalf of the Assembly.

It has been argued by Sharma’s counsel that the Assembly cannot be represented by the Delhi government, which has in turn contended that the Assembly cannot be made a party. On Monday, the Bench observed that the Assembly can be made a party and can be represented by the Delhi government.

However, the lawyer for the government said he has not received any instructions regarding this. The request on behalf of Sharma to be allowed to attend the session came during the brief hearing of his plea challenging his suspension. His lawyer contended that Sharma has apologised and so has his party. The Delhi government on the last date had alleged that Sharma in the past too had engaged in “immoral, violent and appalling behaviour”, while opposing the maintainability of Sharma’s plea challenging his suspension.

The AAP government’s response had come in the backdrop of a court notice issued to it in June this year after the parties failed to settle the matter amicably.

Denying the charge, Sharma’s lawyer had said the decision of the Delhi Assembly to suspend him was “patently illegal” as it infringed upon his freedom of speech privilege.

The AAP government had earlier told the court that Sharma has not “regretted” what he had said about Lamba.

Referring to a report of an Ethics Committee of the Delhi assembly on the issue, the government had said that Sharma was given chances to express regret on his remarks but had refused. The Ethics Committee had “unanimously” recommended stripping Sharma of his assembly membership for his remarks against Lamba and being “unrepentant” about it. 
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