The Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday told the Delhi high court that former party president Sharad Yadav’s disqualification as a Rajya Sabha member was valid as he has formed another political party.
The claim was opposed by Yadav’s lawyers before Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who directed Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, leader of JD(U) in Rajya Sabha, to file an affidavit showing that the former party president has formed a new political group called Loktantrik Janata Dal.
Singh has moved an application seeking modification of the high court’s interim order allowing Yadav to enjoy the perks, salary, allowances and bungalow of an MP. The court, which listed the matter for further hearing on July 12, was hearing Yadav’s plea challenging his disqualification from the Upper House on December 4 last year.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Yadav, told the court that Singh has moved a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court for taking away of the perks, salary, allowances and bungalow of an MP that his client was enjoying.
He alleged that the other side has requested the apex court to hear the matter during the ongoing vacations in order to render the case in the high court as infructuous. Singh’s lawyers admitted that they have filed an SLP in the top court against the high court’s interim order.
The high court had earlier said that Yadav may have to refund the salary drawn by him during the pendency of his petition challenging his disqualification as a Rajya Sabha member, if he was not successful in his plea.
In his application moved through advocates Gopal Singh and Shivam Singh, the JD(U) leader in Rajya Sabha has said that since the payment of emoluments and allowances to MPs are based on their participation in the House proceedings, Yadav was not entitled to such benefit as he has not been permitted to attend the Parliament or its committees.
“Therefore, the petitioner should be subject to the principle of ‘no work, no pay’,” the application has said seeking a change in the December 15, 2017 interim order.
The same interim order was later passed by the court on a similar plea moved by Yadav’s colleague and MP, Ali Anwar, both of whom were disqualified from the Upper House by the December 4, 2017, order of the Rajya Sabha chairman.
Yadav has challenged his disqualification on several grounds, including that he was not given any chance to present his views by the Rajya Sabha chairman before he passed the order.
On the other hand, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh had sought disqualification of Yadav and Anwar on the ground that they had attended a rally of opposition parties in Patna in violation of party directives.
Yadav joined hands with the opposition after the JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar, had dumped the alliance with the RJD and the Congress in Bihar and tied up with the BJP in July last year.
Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year and his term is scheduled to end in July 2022. Anwar’s term was to expire this year. Both were disqualified under the Anti-Defection Act. His plea said that the December 4, 2017 order had disqualified him in an “extremely casual and callous way”.