Delhi High Court quashes verdict on 20 disqualified MLAs

Context:

  • The Delhi High Court has recently reinstated 20 (Aam Aadmi Party) AAP Memberof the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) earlier disqualified by Election Commission.

Background:

  • 2015: The AAP Government appointed 21 MLAs as Parliamentary secretaries.
  • Appointed MLAs were challenged for holding office of profit.
  • January 19th, 2018: Election Commission of India (ECI) recommended the AAP MLAs to be disqualified.
  • The president approved the recommendation.
  • March 23rd 2018: The Delhi High Court has set aside the ECI’s ruling.
  • Referred the case back to ECI for fresh hearing.

Know more about Parliamentary secretaries

Justification of High Court’s judgment:

According to the High Court, the ECI’s ruling has some loopholes, which are:

  • procedural lapses,
  • against natural laws,
  • no oral hearing for the accused,
  • violation of natural justice, and
  • no opportunity for explanation by the accused.

Know more about criteria for disqualification of MLAs in India

Justification of Election’s Commission ruling:

The ruling by election commission of India unveils the following points:

  • decision taken in haste, and
  • ECI has a power to take decision without oral hearing.

Other options to manage cases as such:

Other options to manage the cases as such are by:

  • following a just and fair procedure of investigation,
  • providing opportunity to present the arguments of the accused,
  • taking decision through a judicial or quasi judicial process, and
  • even after the judgment by Delhi High court, the ECI can appeal the Supreme Court for a fresh and fair investigation.

Conclusion:

  • The judgment of Delhi High Court on the disqualified MLAs has thus reaffirmed faith of judiciary.
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