AAP gets HC relief in Office of Profit case

Photo: Vijay Pandey
Representational image: Tehelka archives

Bringing victory to the Aam Aadmi Party government, the Delhi High Court on March 23 set aside Election Commission recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs in connection to the holding Office of Profit case.

A division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shekhar directed poll panel to re-hear the plea of AAP MLAs.

The names of MLAs disqualified 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.

The MLAs in its plea has said 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”.

Appearing for the legislators, the Counsel said that the MLAs were not given a fair opportunity to air their grievances before the poll panel.

On January 19, the EC recommended the AAP MLAs be disqualified for holding offices of profit. Two days later, President Ram Nath Kovind approved the disqualification of 20 MLAs. The EC was referred that the MLAs had been appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015.