The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea seeking registration of a criminal case against those involved in the sensational ‘pepper spray’ incident inside the Lok Sabha when a bill to carve out the new state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh was introduced three years ago. Hell had broken loose in the Lower House on February 13, 2014, when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was introduced by then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. The unprecedented scenes to stall the introduction and passage of the Bill were marked by fisticuffs and breaking of mikes, as expelled Congress MP L Rajagopal sprayed pepper gas from a small canister he had carried inside. The events had led to the suspension of 18 Lok Sabha MPs from Andhra Pradesh.
A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Abdul Nazeer dismissed the plea filed by former MP Ponnam Prabhakar which also sought recovery and withdrawal of all benefits availed by the accused persons, including stoppage of their entry into the Central Hall of Parliament and grant of pension and allowances. The bench asked the petitioner’s counsel advocate Shravan why he had approached the court after the lapse of three years as the incident had taken place on February 13, 2014.
The advocate said they had approached various authorities including the Delhi Police for registration of a case but nothing has been done till date. He sought issuing of notice to all concerned parties but the bench dismissed the matter on the issue of time lag and delay. The plea had also sought a direction to Centre and Parliament to prepare a code of conduct and a comprehensive policy for Parliament members and legislators.
The petitioner said that under the Right to Information, he had received a reply from the police, saying three persons were injured due to the pepper spray incident but no action has been taken till now against the accused. “That the Petitioner filed written complaint in Parliament Street police station regarding the pepper spray incident … but even after three years, Delhi Police under Union Home Ministry has not converted the complaint into First Information Report and not conducted investigation,” the plea said.