Delhi High Court on Monday (today) transferred the the appeal filed by 20 AAP MLAs against their disqualifications by the President of India on the recommendations of the Election Commission to a larger bench.
AAP has denied the allegations of office of profit adding that President Ram Nath Kovind signing the disqualification order was undemocratic. The High Court last week had directed the EC not to issue any notifications for the by-polls in the constituencies held by the disqualified AAP MLAs. The HC judge on Monday extended its interim order restraining the EC from issuing any further notifications. This effectively means that the EC can’t order bypolls until the court pronounces its verdict in the case.
According a PTI report, the single-judge bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru fixed the matter before the acting chief justice for Tuesday. The Delhi HC also ordered the EC and the Centre – which disqualified the 20 AAP MLAs last week – to file their reply on the AAP MLAs’ pleas challenging their disqualification, by 6 February, reported Times of India. The high court summoned all the records pertaining to the proceedings leading to the recommendation of the EC to disqualify the 20 MLAs.
The AAP MLAs also requested the court to cancel their disqualification and order the EC to allow them to submit their defence.
These MLAs are, 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), 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).
Another Jairnail Singh, who had resigned from Delhi’s Rajaouri Garden constituency to contest in Punjab assembly elections, was dropped from the list. These MLAs were appointed parliamentary secretaries soon after AAP won a historic landslide in Delhi.