The Supreme Court on Monday said that Aam Aadmi Party MP Raghav Chadha being indefinitely suspended from the Rajya Sabha was a cause for serious concern, reported Live Law.

Chadha was suspended from Rajya Sabha on August 11 after a motion, moved by Leader of the House Piyush Goyal was passed by a voice vote in the Upper House. The motion was introduced following allegations by five MPs that Chadha proposed to include them in a House panel without their consent in violation of rules.

Chadha had proposed forming a Select Committee to consider the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2023 that gives the Centre power over the Delhi government. He had included the names of Biju Janata Dal MP Sasmit Patra, Bharatiya Janata Party’s S Phangnon Konyak, Sudhanshu Trivedi and Narhari Amin and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislator M Thambidurai.

The Rajya Sabha chairperson had suspended the Aam Aadmi Party MP while an inquiry by the Privileges Committee was pending.

In his plea before the Supreme Court, Chadha contended that the power to suspend is meant to be used as a shield and not as a sword, reported PTI. “The suspension is in clear breach of Rule 256 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States, which incorporates a categorical prohibition against the suspension of any member for a period exceeding the remainder of the session,” he said.

The MP said that suspension for more than 60 days leads to the seat becoming vacant. He alleged that the motive behind his indefinite suspension was to expel him from Parliament.

On Monday, a bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said that the only charge against Chadha was that he did not take the consent of the five members before proposing to include them in the select committee. The court asked if this was a breach that warranted his indefinite suspension.

“Exclusion of member of Opposition from the house is a serious matter,” the court said, reported Bar and Bench. “He is representative of a voice which is different than the ruling party and this is an important concern for the constitutional court. Indefinite suspension is a cause of concern and 75 days have gone.”

However, Attorney General R Venkataramani, said that the resolution was passed by the House and the Chairperson was only acting on that. He contended that the Supreme Court did not have the jurisdiction to interfere in the exercise of privileges by the House, reported Live Law.

Venkataramani also alleged that Chadha’s comments outside Parliament in which he said that his proposal for the Select Committee was like a “birthday invitation card” also lowered the dignity of the Rajya Sabha. The Supreme Court, however, asked whether the comments would amount to a breach of privilege.

The court will next hear the matter on Friday.