Rajasthan High Court Strikes Down Politically Motivated Suspensions of Elected Representatives

Mainstream
23-Apr-2024
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In a resolute stand against politically motivated suspensions, the Rajasthan High Court ruled that democratically elected representatives cannot be arbitrarily suspended to settle political scores. Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur, while adjudicating the case of Bheru Singh v State & Ors, emphasized the detrimental impact such actions have on democratic principles.

"Placing under suspension of democratically elected persons on account of political vendetta weakens the very foundation of the democratic set up," remarked Justice Mathur.

The petitioner, Bheru Singh, challenged his suspension as Sarpanch of Baori Kalla Gram Panchayat before the High Court. Despite being reinstated twice previously, he faced suspension for the third time on March 5, 2024, based on an inspection conducted almost three years earlier.

Highlighting procedural irregularities, the Court noted the absence of a concrete report justifying the latest suspension. Despite claims by the respondents' counsel regarding a subsequent inquiry report, the Court observed a lack of reference to it in the suspension order.

"The chronology of events...demonstrates...respondents are bent upon keeping the petitioner away from working as Sarpanch...," the Court observed.

While acknowledging deficiencies in certain projects during Singh's tenure, the Court deemed holding him solely responsible unjustified. Consequently, it deemed the latest suspension order as mechanical and set it aside.

Advocates CS Kotwani and Yash Rajpurohit represented the petitioner, while AAG Manish Patel appeared for the respondents.

The ruling serves as a significant affirmation of democratic values, safeguarding elected representatives from arbitrary suspensions driven by political agendas.

Author: Anushka Taraniya 

News writer, MIT ADT University