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Office Of Profit: Delhi HC To Hear The Challenge By Disqualified AAP MLA's Tomorrow

Akanksha Jain
23 Jan 2018 2:27 PM GMT
Office Of Profit: Delhi HC To Hear The Challenge By Disqualified AAP MLAs Tomorrow
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In a fresh plea before the Delhi High Court, the 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs on Tuesday challenged their disqualification which has been approved by the President on the recommendation of the Election Commission of India.

The petition will come up for hearing on Wednesday.

On Monday, the 20 legislators had withdrawn their petition challenging the ECI sending a recommendation for their disqualification to the President.

The plea was withdrawn since the same had become infructuous after the President granted his approval to the recommendation on Sunday.

It is to be noted that the ECI had on Friday sent a recommendation to the President for disqualification of 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for holding office of profit.

The media reports had led to the MLAs rushing to the high court for interim protection but in vain.

The 20 AAP MLAs who stand disqualified are Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh), Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura), Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), Sukhbir Singh (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).

The legislators have been held guilty by the ECI of holding ‘office of profit’ by occupying the post of parliamentary secretaries.

It is to be noted that the MLAs were appointed as parliamentary secretaries to ministers by the AAP government with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claiming they were working for free.

The Delhi government had in 2016 passed a Bill to exempt the 21 posts from the ambit of “office of profit”.

The Bill, however, was rejected by the President.

Advocate Prashant Umrao had made a complaint with the President in 2015 seeking their disqualification for holding office of profit.

The President had then directed the ECI to proceed in the matter.

In the meantime, the Delhi High Court came to pass an order quashing their appointment as parliamentary secretaries. The MLAs then told ECI that since their appointment has been quashed, it cannot hear the complaint.

The ground was rejected by ECI. Two years after the complaint was made, the MLAs stand disqualified.

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