No stay on AAP MLAs' disqualification, HC asks EC not to announce bypolls

Don't announce bypolls till Monday, HC tells EC

No stay on AAP MLAs' disqualification, HC asks EC not to announce bypolls

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Election Commission not to announce bypolls to 20 seats in the capital till Monday even as it refused to stay the Centre's notification to disqualify AAP MLAs.

The High Court's direction to the Election Commission came during the hearing of the petitions of AAP MLAs, who approached the court on Wednesday for an immediate stay and quashing of the notification against them.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru sought the response of the Election Commission and the Centre on the petitions challenging their disqualification for holding office of profit. The court has asked for the entire records pertaining to the proceedings leading to the recommendation of disqualification.

Justice Bakhru said he will hear the case on a day-to-day basis from January 29 and said, "the EC should produce the record on or before the next date of hearing on January 29. Till the next date of hearing, it will restrain itself from taking any precipitate measures like announcing bypoll dates on the seats in question."

His direction came after a lawyer for some of the AAP MLAs requested that if the court does not stay the notification, it should at least direct the poll panel to withhold the bypolls. The Election Commission lawyer said he did not see any change in the position till the next date of hearing.

The notification disqualifying the MLAs was issued on Sunday after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Election Commission recommendation holding that they were parliamentary secretaries, which is an office of profit, between March 13, 2015 and September 8, 2016.

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