New Delhi, January 24: In a relief for the Aam Aadmi Party, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission not to issue any notification for bypolls till the next date of hearing on Monday. Twenty AAP MLAs were disqualified for holding the office of profit while serving as Parliamentary Secretaries between March 13, 2015 and September 8, 2016. Also Read - WhatsApp Policy Row: It's Voluntary, Use Some Other App if Not Acceptable, Says Delhi High Court
The court has also sought reply of all respondents including the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the plea of disqualified MLAs. (Also read: Kejriwal Says Disqualified AAP MLAs Were Carrying Out Additional Duties Using Own Money) Also Read - Delhi High Court Allows Opening of Spas in National Capital with Appropriate Safe Guards
On January 19, the poll panel had made the recommendation for the disqualification of the 20 legislators, which was given assent by the President. On the very next day, the Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification that the President held that the 20 MLAs stand disqualified under Section 15(1)(a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act. (Also read: AAP MLAs Didn’t Ask Election Commission For Hearings, Says CEC) Also Read - Delhi HC Makes Exception, Allows 28-Week Pregnant Woman to Terminate Her Foetus
The EC had made the recommendation while deciding a plea by advocate Prashant Patel, who had sought disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs for holding the office of parliamentary secretaries, which he had said amounted to office of profit. (Also read: Kejriwal Preparing For Bye-elections, Delhi HC to Hear AAP Plea Today)
The proceedings against Jarnail Singh were dropped after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly polls.
The 20 MLAs include Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh) — who is also a minister — Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura).
The 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).
With inputs from PTI