In a major relief for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Delhi High Court has set aside the order by the Election Commission to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit.
The 20 MLAs had been disqualified from office by the President, on the recommendation by the Election Commission. The Delhi High Court has set that recommendation aside.
This means, the 20 AAP members will continue to hold their seats. However, the relief for the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP will not be permanent. The EC will now have to take another look at the office of profit allegations against the 20 MLAs.
Kejriwal was quick to react through a tweet. "Truth has won. 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 said.
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
The court aceepted the contention of AAP's counsel that the MLAs were not given a fairchance to make their case that they had not held offices of profit.
The case pertains to the allegation that the AAP had appointed 21 parliamentary secrataries 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.