AAP's office of profit case: President Ram Nath Kovind okays disqualification of 20 Delhi lawmakers.
On Sunday, President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the recommendation of the Election Commission to disqualify 20 lawmakers of Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party. The Commission said the legislators violated the provisions of the Office of Profit, under which lawmakers cannot hold any post in the government that entitles them to perks or powers unless a law has been passed to exempt the posts. The Delhi high court had to hear a plea by Arvind Kejriwal's party today, however, the ruling party withdrew the petition and it will file a new petition.
The list of 20 disqualified legislators include prominent names, like Najafgarh legislator Kailash Gahlot who is also Delhi Transport Minister, Chandni Chowk legislator Alka Lamba, Burari legislator Sanjeev Jha, Kalkaji legislator Avtar Singh and Narela legislator Sharad Kumar.
Here are the highlights of AAP's Office Of Profit Case:
Opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh today demanded disqualification of 11 MLAs of the ruling BJP for "holding" posts of parliamentary secretaries, within days of 20 Aam Aadmi Party legislators in Delhi being disqualified in an "office of profit" case.
Legal experts and a former chief election commissioner, on condition of anonymity, told news agency PTI that bypolls in Delhi were imminent unless the courts provide relief to the MLAs in the form of a stay, or strike down the notification disqualifying them.
The 20 MLAs, whose appointment as parliamentary secretaries was questioned, told the High Court that they would move fresh petitions a day after President Ram Nath Kovind put a stamp of approval on the EC's recommendation. Justice Rekha Palli allowed the MLAs to withdraw their plea, terming it "dismissed as withdrawn".
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, earlier in the day, posted an open letter on the microblogging site addressed to people of the national capital. He labelled the disqualification of the AAP lawmakers "dirty politics".
AAP lawmakers have withdrawn petition from the Delhi high court seeking stay on Election Commission recommendation for their disqualification.
Election Commission counsel submits that communication for disqualification of AAP MLAs was sent on 19 January, news agency ANI reported
AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha told news agency ANI that he hopes Delhi High Court will relieve AAP lawmakers, he is extremely hopeful for justice. He said "the actions and decisions of AK Joti have raised doubts in minds of people of India. I have never seen the president ever acting with such urgency or alacrity."
- The opposition Congress and the BJP have said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should quit on "moral grounds".
- The BJP has four seats in the house; the Congress has none. If a by-election is held on 20 seats, it would give both parties a chance to increase their tally.
- The Election Commission asked President to disqualify the 20 lawmakers last week, triggering vehement protests from AAP, which said the legislators were not given an opportunity for defense.
- AAP also renewed its attack on Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti, calling the recommendation his "parting gift to PM Modi".