NEW DELHI: The 20 disqualified Aam Aadmi Party MLAs on Monday withdrew their application from the Delhi High Court challenging the Election Commission’s recommendation in the office of profit case.
The MLAs said they would file a fresh plea after examining the notification for their disqualification.
Justice Rekha Palli allowed the MLAs to withdraw their plea and termed it “dismissed as withdrawn”.
Advocate Manish Vashisht, appearing for one of the AAP MLAs, told the court that their application challenging the poll panel’s recommendation to the President disqualifying them as legislators has become “infructuous” as a notification in this regard has already been issued on January 20.
President Ram Nath Kovind had on Sunday approved the EC’s recommendation to disqualify 20 of its MLAs for holding offices of profit.
In its opinion sent to President Kovind, the EC had said the MLAs, by occupying the post of parliamentary secretaries between March 13, 2015, and September 8, 2016, held offices of profit, and were liable to be disqualified as legislators, PTI quoted highly-placed sources as saying.
A notification issued by the law ministry quoted the president as saying that in the light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission (EC), the 20 members of the Delhi legislative assembly have been disqualified.
“…Having considered the matter in the light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission, I, Ram Nath Kovind, president of India, in exercise of the powers…do here hold that the aforesaid 20 members of the Delhi legislative assembly stand disqualified from being members of the said assembly,” the notification said.
The move will pave the way for by-polls in Delhi for 20 constituencies of the 70-member assembly. The AAP at present has officially 66 members in the House although some have since turned dissidents. The other four seats are held by the BJP.
Even after the disqualification of 20 MLAs, the ruling party will still have a comfortable majority in the Delhi Assembly.
The 20 MLAs include, Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh), Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura).
Others are: Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), Sukhbir Singh (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).
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