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Election Commission opposes judicial review of AAP MLAs' disqualification

The MLAs had approached the high court challenging their disqualification after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his approval

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a convention to mark the party's 5th Foundation Day at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
Photo: PTI

The (ECI) today claimed in the High Court that judicial review of President's order disqualifying 20 MLAs for holding office-of-profit "lies on a very narrow compass" and the courts ordinarily would not enter into such matters.

A bench of Justices and was informed by the poll panel that if superior courts exercised their jurisdiction on such matters, if permissible at all, the courts ordinarily would not enter into their merits.

"The judicial review of the order passed by the under Section 15 of the (Capital Territory of Act) or under Article 103 of the Constitution of based on the opinion of the ECI lies on a very narrow compass.

"If the superior courts exercise their jurisdiction under Article 226 and 32 of the Constitution in respect of such matters, if permissible at all, the courts ordinarily would not enter into the merits of the matter," ECI argued.

He also submitted that re-appreciation of evidence cannot be sought by a party even if there is a possibility of a different conclusion being arrived at on the evidence placed.

The ECI was replying to arguments made by the disqualified MLAs, found guilty of holding office of profit as parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the government after it came to power in 2015.

The MLAs had approached the high court challenging their disqualification after gave his approval to the ECI's recommendation.

The arguments on behalf of the ECI, which remained inconclusive, will resume tomorrow.

The high court had on January 24 refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying them, but restrained the EC from taking any "precipitate measures" such as announcing dates for by polls to fill the vacancies.

The EC had recommended the disqualification of 20 MLAs on January 19. The had accepted the EC's opinion the very next day.

The 20 disqualified MLAs include (Dwarka), (Chandni Chowk), (Gandhi Nagar), (Kalkaji), (Najafgarh) -- who is also a minister, (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), (Laxmi Nagar),

The others are Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).

First Published: Wed, February 21 2018. 21:10 IST
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