HC Division Bench to hear AAP MLAs’ disqualification

HC Division Bench to hear AAP MLAs’ disqualification
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New Delhi: A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court will now hear the plea of eight Delhi MLAs of the AAP who challenged their disqualification for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru on Monday transferred the matter to the Division Bench for hearing on Tuesday and also extended its interim order which restrains the Election Commission from announcing by-polls in the eight seats.

The court’s direction came on the application of Prashant Patel seeking transfer of the appeal. He cited a Supreme Court judgement that such proceedings must be heard by a bench of at least two judges.

Now, the matter will be heard by a division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shekhar on January 30.

On Patel’s complaint, the Election Commission had recommended disqualification of 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for holding office of profit.

The disqualified lawmakers had moved the High Court last week.

Their counsel has argued that the notification is a “gross violation of natural justice because the Election Commission decided the matter in undue haste and without affording and giving any opportunity of fair hearing to the petitioners”.

Following an Election Commission recommendation to President Ram Nath Kovind, the Law and Justice Ministry on Saturday issued a notification that the President had okayed the disqualification of the 20 MLAs.

The disqualified MLAs are Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gahlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal Khufiya, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar, Nitin Tyagi, and Jarnail Singh.

IANS