The Delhi High Court on Friday asked rebel AAP leader Kapil Mishra to file his response to the findings against him in the Speaker's order disqualifying him from the city's legislative assembly.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru said that Kapil Mishra's claims of violation of natural justice would have no meaning if did not contest or dispute the findings in the August 2 order of Speaker Ram Niwas Goel.
The rebel AAP leader's lawyers told the court that all the allegations or findings against him were not disputed, but it would not mean that he has voluntarily given up AAP's membership.
The court granted him two weeks time to file an affidavit with his response to the August 2 order and listed the matter for further hearing on September 4.
Kapil Mishra had moved to the high court on Tuesday against his disqualification from the Legislative Assembly under the anti-defection law.
The Karawal Nagar MLA was disqualified with effect from January 27 when he had shared the stage with BJP leaders at an election event organised by them.
The Speaker had also said that since Kapil Mishra campaigned for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, it indicated that he has "given up the membership of his original political party".
Seeking quashing of the Speaker's order, Kapil Mishra had contended in court that the Speaker's decision was "wholly illegal, arbitrary, vague and mala fide" as he was not provided any opportunity to present his case.
The petition had claimed that the Speaker assumed that Kapil Mishra had voluntarily given up his AAP membership when he attended the BJP event, without considering that he had attended the budget session and also followed all the whips issued by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as well as supported all the bills, proposals and resolutions tabled by the government.
The Speaker's order had come on a complaint moved by AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj seeking Kapil Mishra's disqualification from the Delhi Assembly under the anti-defection law.
"It is submitted that despite the request of the petitioner, respondents (Assembly and Delhi government) have not given him the opportunity to contest his case on merits and also did not permit him to lead the evidence, did not allow him to summon witnesses and knowingly and deliberately in a clandestine manner avoided the cross-examination of respondent 4 (Bharadwaj)," Kapil Mishra's petition had said.
It had also said that the Speaker never gave him the opportunity to raise the point of non-maintainability of the complaint or that Saurabh Bhardwaj has no locus standi and authorisation to file the petition under the anti-defection law.