Delhi

Delhi HC refuses to give interim protection to AAP MLAs

AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj addresses media the at AAP party office, in New Delhi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to pass any interim order of protection to AAP MLAs, whose names have been recommended for disqualification as legislators by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for holding office of profit.

Justice Rekha Palli asked the Election Commission to inform it by January 22 whether it has sent any communication to President Ram Nath Kovind for disqualifying the 20 MLAs.

The court said it was not inclined to give any interim relief to the legislators as they had not cooperated with the election commission in its proceedings on the issue taking shield of the fact that their pleas were pending in the high court.

“This court has not granted you stay but you go and tell EC not to proceed…When your conduct is such that you don’t go to EC just because your case is pending before the high court, I am not inclined to pass any interim order,” the court remarked.

While the EC has been hearing the office of profit case, the AAP legislators had used the September 2016 verdict of the high court scrapping the appointment of the parliamentary secretaries in its defence.

In August last year, the High Court had sought response of the commission on AAP MLAs plea against the poll panel's decision to continue hearing a complaint against them for allegedly holding office of profit.

A counsel appearing for the AAP legislator contended before the court that the poll panel has not responded to the petition till date. He further claimed that the poll panel has not given them a hearing before arriving at the decision.

“There are 20 people involved in it. How can you take it so lightly. Why don’t you file your reply,” the court asked.

The election commission said it will submit its response within two weeks on the petition which is pending since August last year.

The court has listed the case for further hearing on January 22.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 3:04:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-hc-refuses-to-give-interim-protection-to-aap-mlas/article22473326.ece

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