Setback For AAP: EC Recommends Disqualification Of 20 AAP MLAs For Holding ‘Office Of Profit’
The Election Commision has recommended disqualification of 20- AAP MLA’s for allegedly holding the “offices of profit’ as Parliamentary Secretaries. The MLAs were reportedly appointed as parliamentary secretaries to assist various ministries of the state. The EC has sent the recommendation to President Ramnath Kovind. The report also said that the party would approach judicial authorities for appeal.
The petition filed by lawyer Prashant Patel was directed at 21 MLAs, but one has resigned. The controversy started after AAP’s victory during the Assembly elections in 2015. In October last year, the EC had issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers seeking an explanation. Though the MLA’s filed the plea to drop the case against them, it was rejected by the EC.
Names included in the list are: Adarsh Shastri from Dwarka constituency, Alka Lamba from Chandni Chowk constituency, Sanjeev Jha from Burari constituency, Kailash Gehlot from Najafgarh constituency, Vijendra Garg from Rajinder Nagar constituency, Praveen Kumar from Jangpura constituency, Sharad Kumar Chauhan from Narela constituency, Madan Lal Khufiya from Kasturba Nagar constituency, Shiv Charan Goyal from Moti Nagar constituency, Sarita Singh from Rohtas Nagar constituency, Naresh Yadav from Mehrauli constituency, Rajesh Gupta from Wazirpur constituency, Rajesh Rishi from Janakpuri constituency, Anil Kumar Bajpai from Gandhi Nagar constituency, Som Dutt from Sadar Bazar constituency, Avtar Singh from Kalkaji constituency, Sukhvir Singh Dala from Mundka constituency, Manoj Kumar from Kondli constituency, Nitin Tyagi from Laxmi Nagar constituency, and Jarnail Singh from Tilak Nagar constituency.
The AAP has approached Delhi High court against EC’s recommendation, reports The Indian Express. “Whenever there is an investigation anywhere in the world, the accused is also given a chance to put their point across; the EC did not give any MLA such an opportunity,” said Saurabh Bharadwaj, AAP spokesperson. “What Modi govt appointed Election Commission is leaking to the media is a recommendation made without hearing the arguments of MLAs on the false allegation of office of profit,” tweeted Nagendra Sharma, the media advisor to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
What Modi govt appointed Election Commission is leaking to the media is a recommendation made without hearing the arguments of MLAs on the false allegation of office of profit – such a blatantly biased recommendation will NOT stand scrutiny in court of law
— Nagendar Sharma (@sharmanagendar) January 19, 2018
The Prevention of Disqualification Act of 1959, Clause (a) of Article 102 of Indian Constitution says a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either house of Parliament, if he holds an “office of profit” under the Government of India or the Government of any State other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder.