Ram Nath Kovind rejects petition demanding disqualification of 11 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit

In March 2017, a man named Vivek Garg had filed a petition before the President seeking disqualification of 11 AAP lawmakers claiming that they were enjoying office of profit by being co-chairpersons of district disaster management authorities in 11 Delhi districts

Press Trust of India November 05, 2019 22:15:20 IST
Ram Nath Kovind rejects petition demanding disqualification of 11 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit
  • President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected a petition demanding disqualification of 11 party MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit

  • The 28 October decision of the President rejecting the plea is based on an opinion rendered by the Election Commission, the poll panel said

  • In August, the EC gave its opinion that holding the office of co-chairperson of a district disaster management authority does not attract disqualification as MLA

New Delhi: In a relief for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected a petition demanding disqualification of 11 party MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit. The 28 October decision of the President rejecting the plea is based on an opinion rendered by the Election Commission, the poll panel said.

Ram Nath Kovind rejects petition demanding disqualification of 11 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit

File image of President Ram Nath Kovind. PTI

In March 2017, a man named Vivek Garg had filed a petition before the President seeking disqualification of 11 AAP lawmakers, including Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, claiming that they were enjoying office of profit by being co-chairpersons of district disaster management authorities in 11 Delhi districts.

The issue was referred to the EC which gave an opinion in August that holding the office of co-chairperson of a district disaster management authority does not attract disqualification as MLA as there is no remuneration by way of salary, allowances, sitting fee. Nor is there any other facility such as staff car, office space, supporting staff, telephone or residence provided.

As per law, the President accepts the opinion of the Election Commission in cases of office of profit.

The Commission held that "item 14 of the Schedule to Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Act), 1997 provides for exemption for the office of chairman, director or member of a statutory or non-statutory body or committee constituted by Government of NCT, provided that the said chairman, director or member are not entitled to any remuneration.

The petitioner had sought the disqualification of MLAs Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura), Pawan Kumar Sharma (Adarsh Nagar), Shri Dutt Sharma (Ghonda), Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Dinesh Mohania (Sangam Vihar), Amanatullah Khan (Okhla), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).

The term of the 70-member Delhi Assembly ends on 22 February, 2020 and the polls can be announced in the next few weeks.

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