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Disqualified AAP MLAs withdraw plea challenging EC's recommendation

Press Trust of India, New Delhi, Jan 22 2018, 17:59 IST

Will examine the notification for their disqualification first

The AAP MLAs were allowed to withdraw the plea pending examination of the disqualification notification. PTI file photo.

The AAP MLAs were allowed to withdraw the plea pending examination of the disqualification notification. PTI file photo.

The 20 disqualified AAP MLAs today withdrew their plea application from the Delhi High Court challenging the Election Commission's recommendation in the office of profit case, saying they would file a fresh plea after examining the notification for their disqualification.

Justice Rekha Palli allowed the MLAs to withdraw their plea and termed it "dismissed as withdrawn".

Advocate Manish Vashisht, appearing for one of the AAP MLAs, told the court that their application challenging the poll panel's recommendation to the President disqualifying them as legislators have become "infructuous" as a notification in this regard has already been issued on January 20.

The Delhi High Court had on January 19 refused to pass any interim order of protection to AAP MLAs, whose names have been recommended for disqualification as legislators by the Election Commission (EC) for holding an office of profit.

In its opinion sent to the President, the EC had said that by being parliamentary secretaries, they held an office of profit and were liable to be disqualified as MLAs of the Delhi Assembly.

The petition before the EC was filed by Prashant Patel against 21 MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the AAP government in Delhi.

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).

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).

In their pleas, they had sought a stay on the proceedings before the EC as well as any communication to the President by the poll panel.

They had contended that no hearing on the merits of the case had taken place before the EC, nor any opportunity granted to the petitioners before the poll panel. They also claimed that no evidence was led by complainant Prashant Patel.

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