Delhi High Court orders day-to-day hearing of AAP MLAs disqualification case

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that it will hear the AAP MLAs plea challenging their disqualification for holding office of profit on a daily basis from Thursday.

Published: 07th February 2018 06:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2018 06:43 PM   |  A+A-

AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj | PTI File Photo


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that it will hear the AAP MLAs plea challenging their disqualification for holding office of profit on a daily basis from Thursday.

Meanwhile, senior advocate Mohan Parasaran told a division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shekhar that the notification is a "gross violation of natural justice because the Election Commission (EC) decided the matter in undue haste and without affording and giving any opportunity of fair hearing to the petitioners".

The findings are, therefore, contrary to the provisions of Article 14 of Constitution of India, ultra vires, void ab initio and an attack on the basic fabric of democracy, the AAP MLAs said.

The legislators said that the action of the election commission is bad.

The counsel also raised the point that the MLAs were not given a fair opportunity to air their grievances before the poll panel.

Sunil Arora, who was appointed as an Election Commissioner after the retirement of Syed Nasim Ahmad Zaidi, never had any occasion to deal with the matter or to understand the facts of the case, the legislators told the court.

The counsel also said that Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat had earlier recused himself from hearing the matter. But later, he joined the hearing conducted by the election commission.

The disqualified lawmakers had moved the High Court last month.

The EC has told the Delhi High Court that the various writ petitions submitted by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators against their disqualification in the 'office of profit' case are "misdirected" and "not maintainable", and has sought their dismissal "with cost".

The EC said that the pleas by the MLAs are not maintainable as the petitioners have not challenged the Presidential Order dated January 20, 2018 disqualifying them on grounds of holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.

Following the poll panel's recommendation to President Ram Nath Kovind, the Law and Justice Ministry issued a notification that the President had "okayed" the disqualification of 20 Delhi AAP MLAs.

The disqualified MLAs are Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gahlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal Khufiya, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar, Nitin Tyagi and Jarnail Singh.

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