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AAP to file fresh plea in HC against disqualification of 20 MLAs

AAP to file fresh plea in HC against disqualification of 20 MLAs
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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will file a fresh plea in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday to challenge the decision to disqualify 20 party MLAs in an...

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will file a fresh plea in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday to challenge the decision to disqualify 20 party MLAs in an office-of-profit case, a party leader said on Monday.

The move comes after the AAP MLAs withdrew on Monday an earlier plea that sought a stay on the Election Commission's (EC) recommendation to President Ram Nath Kovind to disqualify 20 MLAs for holding office-of-profit as Parliamentary Secretaries in Delhi.

On Friday, the EC made the recommendation, since approved by the President, for disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs.

Following the President's approval, the Law and Justice Ministry on Sunday issued a notification that the President has held that the 20 members of the Delhi Assembly stand disqualified under Section 15 (1) (a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act.

On Monday, AAP Chief Spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj told IANS that the ruling party will file the fresh plea in the High Court.

Earlier in the day, Justice Rekha Palli of the High Court said the plea moved by six AAP legislators had become infructuous as the President has already issued a circular to disqualify all 20 MLAs.

The court's decision came after the EC said it had already sent its opinion to the President on January 19, before the MLAs moved the court.

The EC also informed the court that the notification on disqualification was issued on January 20.

These MLAs' counsel said they wanted to withdraw the plea and will examine the EC orders.

The court then ruled the "plea is dismissed as withdrawn".

The 20 MLAs disqualified are Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gahlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal Khufiya, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar, Nitin Tyagi and Jarnail Singh.

AAP MLA Jarnail Singh from Rajouri Garden was also among these legislators whose ouster was demanded by the opposition. However, he resigned to contest the February 4 Punjab Assembly elections in 2017. The vacated Delhi Assembly seat was won by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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