Forged Signature Row: AAP Affirms Raghav Chadha Has Not Received Privilege Committee Notice

10 August, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Raghav Chadha National

Rajya Sabha Chairperson Dhankhar acted in response to allegations that Raghav Chadha had added MPs' names without their prior authorization, thereby flouting the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of B...

Amid a brewing controversy involving alleged forged signatures of five Members of Parliament (MPs) in a proposal for a Select Committee regarding the Delhi Services Bill, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has declared its readiness to address the issue head-on. On Wednesday, the party stated that Raghav Chadha, its representative in the Rajya Sabha, would respond “effectively and comprehensively” to any notice from the Privilege Committee, should one be issued in connection to the incident.

Setting the record straight, the ruling party of the national capital clarified that as of now, Raghav Chadha has not received any formal communication from the Privilege Committee.

Meanwhile, insider sources have revealed that the Privilege Committee of the Rajya Sabha convened on Wednesday within the Parliament premises. In light of the allegations raised by Rajya Sabha members Dr. Sasmit Patra, S. Phangnon Konyak, Dr. M. Thambidurai, and Narhari Amin, the committee has opted to solicit a response from Chadha over alleged breaches of privilege.

At the heart of the matter is Raghav Chadha’s initiation of a proposal for the formation of a Select Committee to deliberate on the “Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.”

The five MPs who lodged the complaints have accused the AAP leader of including their names in the proposed panel without prior consultation or consent. The situation escalated to the extent that Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar referred the grievances of these MPs to the Privileges Committee for a comprehensive examination and investigation into the matter.

Dhankhar acted in response to allegations that Chadha had added the MPs’ names without their prior authorization, thereby flouting the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. A bulletin from the Rajya Sabha confirmed that the matter had been referred to the Committee of Privileges under Rule 203 for an exhaustive evaluation and subsequent report.

Chadha’s initial proposition sought the establishment of a Select Committee within the House to assess the Delhi Services Bill.

During a recent Rajya Sabha discussion centered on the Delhi Services Bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah brought attention to the controversy. He remarked that two members, BJD MP Sasmit Patra and BJP MP Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi, contested their involvement in the motion put forth by AAP’s Raghav Chadha. The situation, Shah noted, merited investigation into how the motion acquired the disputed signatures.

Raghav Chadha, for his part, expressed his commitment to engage with the Privileges Committee once he receives formal notification from them.

After an extensive eight-hour deliberation, the Bill aimed at replacing the Central Ordinance pertaining to service control within the national capital was eventually passed by the Rajya Sabha. A division took place in which 131 MPs voted in favor of the legislation while 102 voted against it.

Last week, the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 had been successfully passed in the Lok Sabha.

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