Delhi High Court sets aside AAP MLAs' disqualification

AAP'office of Profit case BJP hails HC order

Delhi High Court sets aside AAP MLAs' disqualification

Manipur Congress MLAs, however is not disappointed as the matter of AAP MLAs challenging the disqualification is somewhat different from the issues of the Parliamentary Secretary as, it is now against the impunity of passing repeal bill of the PS as well as for holding office of profit. "Congratulations to the people of Delhi", Kejriwal tweeted.

To counter the Election Commission argument, the AAP party said that they were not allowed to present a defense.

While refraining from commenting on the specifics of the high court order, Joti said that the MLAs failed to respond to EC notices.

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While some have said that had the EC granted personal hearings to each MLA, doubts and questions would never have risen about the EC order, the former CEC pointed out that this avenue could possibly have been made available to the legislators if they had responded to EC communication. The HC judgement is a lesson for the EC."In February 2015, the newbie Aam Aadmi Party had swept to power, securing 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly".

AAP MLAs Nitin Tyagi, Alka Lamba, Som Dutt, Rajesh Gupta and Rajesh Rishi were among those who attended the budget session, after their disqualification was set aside.

The High Court held that there was a violation of natural justice.

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The president had accepted the EC's opinion the next day.

Lawyer and petitioner in the case Prashant Patel was the first to complain to then President Pranab Mukherjee that the MLAs holding the offices of Parliamentary Secretaries were in violation of the Constitution.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar quashed the Centre's notification on the EC's opinion to disqualify the MLAs and sent the issue back to the poll panel, rejecting its contention that having given its opinion it had become "functus officio and hence remand is not possible".

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The president had approved the EC's recommendation and ordered disqualification of the MLAs. It was further argued that the post of parliamentary secretary could not be considered as an "office of profit" as there was no element of "profit" or pecuniary benefit attached to it. Earlier, on January 24, the high court had refused to stay the Centre s notification disqualifying the MLAs, but restrained the EC from taking any precipitate measures such as announcing dates for by-polls in the Capital to fill the vacancies.

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