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AAP MLAs get relief in "Office of Profit" case

24 March 2018

The Election Commission did not give the MLAs any opportunity to have their say. "It's a victory for truth".

"Elected representatives of Delhi were illegally disqualified".

After the high court's verdict, Alka Lamba, one of the disqualified MLAs, said the court had accepted that the principles of the natural justice were not followed in their case. It is their victory.

Bagga took to Twitter on March 22 and announced the launching of an award after Delhi Chief Minister describing him as the world's biggest liar since he has made several baseless and false allegations his political rivals without any proof.

"...Opinion of the ECI dated 19 January, 2018 is vitiated and bad in law for failure to comply with the principles of natural justice..."

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The Delhi High Court on Friday asked why the Election Commission had not informed the AAP MLAs, facing disqualification proceedings, about the decision of one of the then commissioners, O.P. Rawat to rejoin the Presidential reference proceedings after his recusal earlier a year ago. The AAP MLAs should not celebrate. During the arguments, the MLAs had requested the court to remand their case back to the poll panel with a direction to hear the matter afresh.

The MLAs had approached the Delhi High Court challenging their disqualification by EC after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to the ECI's recommendations.

In such circumstances, the EC claimed in its opinion to the President, there is no doubt over the fact that such a large scale appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries had "not only jeopardised" the functioning of these individual MLAs but also the entire Assembly. It was further argued that the post of parliamentary secretary could not be considered as an "office of profit" as there was no element of "profit" or pecuniary benefit attached to it. The first sign of this was seen when numerous legislators attended the ongoing budget session of Delhi assembly after the court judgment. In September 2016, the Delhi High Court had ruled against their appointment as parliamentary secretaries, after hearing their pleas on a daily basis since February 7.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, while welcoming the order, joined other legislators in the House to thump desks amid chants of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai". Congratulations, " Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwal tweeted. However, Prashant Patel, petitioner in the 20 AAP MLAs disqualification case said the court has said that this case will be reopened.

AAP MLAs get relief in