Delhi

High Court order to have no impact on case before EC

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A party source, however, said the order was being viewed as a shot in the arm as it gave the MLAs in question "more means to confront disqualification".

While some called the legal recourse available to the 21 AAP MLAs against disqualification from the Delhi Assembly “a blessing in disguise”, legal experts say the Delhi High Court order setting their appointment as Parliamentary Secretaries aside was unlikely to have an impact on their stint as legislators.

However, a senior government official said that while the detailed court order was yet to be communicated officially, Thursday’s judgment had no bearing on the question of the continued membership of the 21 AAP MLAs in offices of legislators.

A party source, however, said the order was being viewed as a shot in the arm as it gave the MLAs in question “more means to confront disqualification” since it had rendered “non-existent” their appointment to posts being deemed office-of-profit.

Former Additional Solicitor General Bishwajit Bhattacharyya said: “It will have no impact on the plea pending before the Election Commission seeking disqualification since the Commission is seized of the matter independent of the court order. The Commission has to decide whether the post of Parliamentary Secretary is an office-of-profit or not.”

If the Commission decides to disqualify them, Mr. Bhattacharyya said, then it was up to the MLAs to challenge the order in court.

“The court order of August 4, on the powers of the Delhi Chief Minister viz those of the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor, has already been challenged by the AAP in an appeal before the Supreme Court. The apex court will decide the whole gamut of issues as well as Thursday’s order by the HC,” Mr. Bhattacharyya added.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who practises in the Delhi High Court, echoed his views stating that the Commission was dealing with a different issue as against the one decided by the court on Thursday.

“The EC has to decide whether the post is of an office-of-profit or not. In case it declares it as one, then automatically all of them will be disqualified — but that is only if it deems it so,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party, during a joint press conference by Delhi Pradesh president Satish Upadhyay and party leaders Vijender Gupta, Meenakshi Lekhi, Ramesh Bidhuri and Manoj Tiwari, said the judgment was a befitting reply to “the unconstitutional anarchy by the Kejriwal government.”

Mr. Gupta said Delhi BJP leaders were scheduled to meet the Election Commissioner “soon” to request that the EC “pronounce its judgment in the case of disqualification of 21 Parliamentary Secretaries”.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 9:27:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/High-Court-order-to-have-no-impact-on-case-before-EC/article14628855.ece

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