‘Truth Wins,’ Says Kejriwal As HC Sets Aside Sacking of 20 MLAs

The Delhi High Court set aside the recommendations of the Election Commission of India (EC) to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit. Holding the notification disqualifying the MLAs as bad in law, the court remanded their plea back to the EC, which will hear it afresh.

The court further said that there was a violation of natural justice and no oral hearing was given to AAP MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators, reported PTI.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hailed the court’s decision as a “victory of truth”.

"It is victory of truth. The representatives chosen by the people of Delhi were sacked wrongly. The Delhi High Court has given justice to the people of Delhi. It is a big victory for the people of Delhi. I congratulate them. " - Arvind Kejriwal

Also Read: AAP MLA Row: ‘Office of Profit’ Clause Neither Straight Nor Simple

Speaking to the media, Prashant Patel, petitioner in the disqualification case, said:

"The court has said that this case will be reopened. I had just raised a constitutional issue, there is no setback for me. " - Prashant Patel, petitioner 

Meanwhile, AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the court has given the MLAs a chance to put their point across, which they were denied earlier.

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar had kept its decision pending since 28 February, when it had reserved the judgment after the legislators, Election Commission of India (EC) and other parties had concluded their arguments, reported PTI.

During the arguments, the MLAs had told the court that the EC's order disqualifying them for allegedly holding office-of-profit was passed in "complete violation of natural justice" as they were not given an opportunity to explain their stand before the poll panel, it was further reported.

The MLAs had been accused of holding offices of profit, as they were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015. In September 2016, the Delhi High Court had ruled against their appointment as parliamentary secretaries.

On 24 January, the high court had refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying them, but had restrained the poll panel from taking any "precipitate measures" such as announcing dates for bypolls to fill the vacancies.

The EC had on 19 January recommended the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs – Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gahlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal, 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.

The EC’s opinion was accepted by the President the next day.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

(The Quint has given up the use of plastic plates and spoons. This Earth Hour, what will you #GiveUp to save the planet? Use the hashtag #GiveUp and tag @TheQuint to tell us.)

. Read more on India by The Quint.Trailer: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Is All About a Summer Vacation!Buoyed by Success in 2017, Srikanth Eyes Maiden Medal at CWG . Read more on India by The Quint.