Twenty Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs today moved the Delhi High Court seeking to quash their disqualification by President Ram Nath Kovind which was done on the recommendation of the Election Commission of India.
The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear the matter tomorrow.
Appearing on behalf of one of the MLAs, advocate Manish Vashisht submitted before the bench that the matter required urgent listing given the notification disqualifying 20 members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly.
The plea by the MLAs has also sought a stay and quashing of the government’s notification stating the President had held that the MLAs stand disqualified under the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act.
The notification came two days after the EC wrote to the President recommending the disqualification of the MLAs for holding office of profit while serving as Parliamentary Secretaries between March 13, 2015 and September 8, 2016.
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).
The notification with President’s assent was issued on January 21 saying “…Having considered the matter in light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, in exercise of the powers…do here hold that the aforesaid 20 members of the Delhi legislative assembly stand disqualified from being members of the said assembly.”