Published: Mon, March 26, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Delhi HC reinstates 20 AAP MLAs

Delhi HC reinstates 20 AAP MLAs

The major relief to the AAP government in Delhi came on 23.03.2018 from the Delhi High court.

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

Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the High Court verdict on AAP MLAs disqualification will be followed in "spirit and letter". The Election Commission has been asked by the court to examine the case of the 20 MLAs afresh, giving the AAP government the breathing space it needed. The MLAs, who were appointed parliamentary secretaries, had challenged their disqualification for holding office-of-profit. The law says that elected representatives can't hold "office of profit" during their tenure.

The court said "this argument of the EC is untenable". The matter has been transferred back to the Election Commission.

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Terming the Election Commission's recommendation on disqualification as "vitiated", the high court said that there was violation of natural justice and no oral hearing was given to the MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators of the Delhi Assembly. No doubt the rules of natural justice have been upheld, but just like the AAP has made an absolute mockery of the laws, the BJP is flouting every rule in Manipur.

The saffron party and the Congress had demanded that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal resign on moral grounds after the EC recommended the President in January this year to disqualify them. "The court has said that this case will be reopened". AAP MLAs Nitin Tyagi and Alka Lamba were among the first to enter the House.

Bharadwaj blamed the Central Government for the disqualification, saying the poll panel was "acting on its whims and fancies".

The Delhi High Court had on 24 January refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying them but had restrained the poll panel from taking any "precipitate measures" such as announcing dates for bypolls to fill the vacancies. It is usually an accepted norm that the President takes considerable amount of time before assenting or dissenting in such cases to avoid undue haste and errors of judgement.

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