NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated the people of Delhi after the High Court on Friday set aside the order by the Election Commission to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit. "Truth prevails. The representatives who had been elected by the people of Delhi were ousted in an improper manner. The Delhi High Court has given justice to the people of Delhi. This is a big victory for the people of Delhi. I congratulate the people of Delhi," he tweeted soon after the HC announced its order.
सत्य की जीत हुई। दिल्ली के लोगों द्वारा चुने हुए प्रतिनिधियों को ग़लत तरीक़े से बर्खास्त किया गया था। दिल्ली हाई कोर्ट ने दिल्ली के लोगों को न्याय दिया। दिल्ली के लोगों की बड़ी जीत। दिल्ली के लोगों को बधाई। https://t.co/eDayHziHSn
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 23, 2018
Celebrations have begun in the AAP camp with members praising the HC decision. "MLAs were not given a chance to put their point, so now the court has given them a chance to do that. The EC will hear their plea again," AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
Holding the notification disqualifying AAP MLAs as bad in law, the HC remanded their plea back to the Election Commission which will hear it again. HC said there was a violation of natural justice and no oral hearing was given to AAP MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators.
The MLAs were disqualified by the President on the recommendation by the Election Commission for holding office-of-profit when they were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries. The 20 AAP members will now continue to hold their seats. The EC will have to reconsider the case against the 20 MLAs.
The court accepted the AAP's counsel contention that the MLAs were not given a fair chance to make their case.
The case pertains to the allegation that the AAP had appointed 21 parliamentary secretaries over and above the Constitutionally sanctioned strength for the cabinet. The AAP had alleged that the MLAs in question had not taken any pecuniary benefit from the appointments, and hence argued that they could not be considered offices of profit.