The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition of BJP MLA O P Sharma that challenged his suspension from Delhi Assembly for two sessions for allegedly making derogatory remarks against AAP MLA Alka Lamba in November 2015, noting that the ethics committee of the House had in its report recorded that Sharma remained "unrepentant" and his conduct caused obstruction of the legislative function.
The court, however, made it clear that it was not examining the question by Sharma as the period of suspension got over during pendency of the petition, and thereafter the MLA has also attended the subsequent sessions of Assembly.
The high court said no person can be permitted to speak in a derogatory fashion against another and Sharma not only used unparliamentary language but made derogatory remarks against a woman member of the House during a debate on a public issue in the legislative assembly.
Sharma had sought setting aside of the Motion passed by the Assembly on March 31, 2016, by which he was suspended from the House for next two sessions.
"There was no interim stay of the Motion of the Legislative Assembly dated March 31, 2016. The period of suspension got over during pendency of the present petition and thereafter the petitioner attended the sittings of the assembly in the subsequent sessions.
"Since, the period of suspension got over during the pendency of the present petition, I am not examining the questions raised by the petitioner with regard to second punishment and proportionality of punishment and leave the same open," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said in a 50-page verdict.
The court also said it was of the view that the facts of this case do not justify any interference by it, in exercise of powers under Article 226 of the Constitution and dismissed the petition.
It noted that Sharma not only used derogatory remarks but stood by them and sought to justify the same.
It said the ethics committee of the Delhi Assembly in its report had recorded that Sharma in his depositions remained consistently defiant and unrepentant even when the Deputy Chief Minister asked him to apologise to the House and assure it that he would not repeat such misbehaviour, he walked out.
"The derogatory remarks were made on the floor of the House during a debate on a public issue. It has a direct connection and bears proximity to the duties, role and functions of the petitioner as a legislator. His conduct caused obstruction of the legislative function of the House as it led to disruption of the proceedings of the House for two days," the court noted.
The court had in June 2016 asked both Lamba and Sharma to appear before it "with an open mind" to resolve the issue.
Delhi government had told the court that Sharma has not "regretted" what he had said about Lamba.
Sharma had earlier said "my intention was not to hurt Lamba as she is like my sister, but if she felt offended I express regret over it".