Connect with us

National

President Kovind accepts EC view, disqualifies 20 MLAs

Monitor News Bureau

Published

🕒

on

IST

New Delhi: With President Ram Nath Kovind accepting the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party for holding offices of profit, the stage is set for a mini-election in the nation’s capital as the poll panel now has to hold byelections in these Assembly seats within six months. Reacting to this development, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said: “The President’s order to disqualify the AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and dangerous for democracy.”
A notification issued by the law ministry on Sunday quoted the President as saying that in light of the opinion given by the Election Commission, the 20 members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly had been disqualified. In a blow to the AAP, the EC had on Friday asked the President to disqualify these 20 MLAs.
“Having considered the matter in the light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, in exercise of the powers… do here hold that the aforesaid 20 members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly stand disqualified from being members of the said Assembly,” the notification said.
Once the Delhi Assembly Speaker declares 20 vacancies in the House, the AAP’s strength will come down from 66 to 46. But it will still have a comfortable majority as the Opposition has only four MLAs.
Delhi chief minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “There was some logic when God gave us 67 seats. The Almighty stood behind us in our every step. Otherwise we would have been nothing… Just don’t stray away from the path of truth.” Addressing a fathering in Najafgarh on Sunday, the CM said: “They are trying to harass us by all means… They got a CBI raid done at my office, but after a 24-hour search they only found my four mufflers. Our MLAs were arrested.”
He added: “The L-G had called 400 files of our government (pertaining to decisions taken in two years), but they did not find anything against us. When they did not find anything against us, they today disqualified our 20 MLAs.”
It was in March 2015 that the AAP government had named 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries. Parliamentary secretaries assist ministers with their work. The AAP had insisted that despite holding this office, these MLAs did not take any salaries or perks.
As the protests over these appointments grew, the government sought to shield the MLAs by excluding the post of parliamentary secretary from the ambit of office of profit laws. But former President Pranab Mukherjee had refused to approve the measure, and had referred a private petition in the matter to the EC. Reacting to another petition, the Delhi high court had struck down the post of parliamentary secretary in September 2015.
Of these 21 MLAs, Rajouri Garden legislator Jarnail Singh had resigned from his seat before contesting the Assembly elections in Punjab. The AAP lost the seat in the byelection to BJP-Akali Dal candidate M.S. Sirsa. Since the President has accepted the recommendation of the EC, the poll panel is bound to announce byelections for these 20 Assembly seats within six months.
The disqualified members are Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh) — who is also a minister, Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura), Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), Sukhbir Singh (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot, who represents Najafga-rh, can now retain his ministerial portfolio for another six months. It is mandatory for Mr Gahlot to win any Assembly seat within six months in order to retain his ministerial portfolio.
The AAP had also moved the Delhi high court seeking a stay on the EC’s recommendation. The court has listed the case for a hearing .


Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

National

SC verdict on pleas seeking Rafale judgment review on Thursday

Press Trust of India

Published

on

New Delhi, November 13: The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on petitions seeking a review of its judgment giving a clean chit to the Modi government in the Rafale fighter jet deal with French firm Dassault Aviation.

On May 10, the apex court had reserved the decision on the pleas, including one filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seeking a re-examination of its findings that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

A Bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, is likely to pronounce verdicts on three review petitions filed by the trio, lawyer Vineet Dhandha and Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker Sanjay Singh.
On December 14, 2018, the apex court dismissed the petitions seeking an investigation into the alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal.

 
Continue Reading

National

SC upholds disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs; they can contest Dec 5 bypolls

Agencies

Published

on

New Delhi, November 13: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the order of former Karnataka Assembly speaker disqualifying 17 MLAs.

The SC, however, stroked down portion of Speaker’s order, which said MLAs would be disqualified till end of tenure of 15th Karnataka Assembly.

The SC verdict has paved way for disqualified MLAs to contest December 5 bypolls in Karnataka.

 

The SC said if elected in bypolls, these disqualified Karnataka MLAs can become ministers or hold public office.

The SC deprecated the manner in which these disqualified Karnataka MLAs directly approached it without first moving high court.

The top court said that its verdict was based on facts and circumstance of case and does not interfere in Speaker’s power to disqualify members.

The SC had reserved its verdict on petitions challenging the then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s decision to disqualify 17 Karnataka MLAs before the crucial trust vote that led to fall of HD Kumaraswamy government in the state.

A Bench headed by Justice NV Ramana reserved its order after hearing counsel for the petitioners i.e. disqualified MLAs, Kumaraswamy and new Speaker V Hegde Kageri and others.

The decision eventually led to the fall of Congress-JD(S) government headed by HD Kumaraswamy, who was forced to resign after losing a trust vote. Thereafter, BS Yediyurappa-led government was formed in the state

Continue Reading

National

UK court set to hear Nirav Modi’s new bail application today

Press Trust of India

Published

on

London: A UK court is set to hear a new bail application on Wednesday filed by fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is fighting extradition to India on charges of nearly USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and money laundering case.

The 48-year-old is expected to be produced before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London to make another attempt at being let out on bail until his trial in May next year.

He has been in custody at Wandsworth prison in south-west London, one of England’s most overcrowded prisons, since his arrest in March. “The bail application is at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday November 6. The grounds cannot be made public until the hearing,” said a spokesperson for the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian government in the extradition proceedings in court. Modi has reportedly claimed anxiety and depression in his latest application, with earlier bail applications at the court being rejected by Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, and then also on appeal at the High Court in London, as he was deemed a flight risk.

 

His legal team has previously described their client’s experience in prison as “damaging” and offered stringent electronic tag and other conditions akin to house arrest at his posh Centrepoint apartment in the West End of London in an attempt to persuade the judge to grant bail.

“His experience in custody has been vivid and damaging…he is willing to abide by any bail conditions imposed by the court because Wandsworth is unliveable and makes the effective preparation of his case virtually impossible,” his barrister Clare Montgomery had told Judge Arbuthnot earlier in the year. They had also doubled the initial bail bond offer of 1 million pounds to 2 million pounds in an attempt to sway the court. However, Arbuthnot had concluded that Modi was wanted in connection with a “large fraud” and the doubling of security was “not sufficient to cover a combination of concerns that he would fail to surrender”.

In June, Modi’s legal team took his appeal against that ruling to the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where a judge was told about the diamond merchant’s troubled state of mind in “confidential” documents. “The circumstances he has had to endure at Wandsworth have been personally difficult and the confidential exhibits reflect the experience that has marked him deeply. The reality is that he is not the cold-blooded hardened criminal as claimed by the government of India but a jewellery designer from a long line of diamond dealers, and regarded as being honest, careful and reliable,” Montgomery told the High Court, adding that a number of individuals were willing to offer sureties and substantial sums to back up the claim that Modi is not a man who plans to run.

But in her judgment, Justice Ingrid Simler concurred with the Chief Magistrate that there were “substantial grounds” to believe that Modi would fail to surrender as he does possess the means to “abscond”. After considering all the material “carefully”, the judge said she found strong evidence to suggest there had been interference with witnesses and destruction of evidence in the case and concluded it could recur if he was let out of prison.

There are no strict limits on the number of times Modi can apply for bail, but he would have to produce substantially modified grounds in a new application. He has meanwhile continued to appear via videolink before the magistrates’ court in London, appearing in a standard prison-issued grey tracksuit and mostly freshly shaved and upbeat. His next routine 28-day appearance required under UK law is listed for November 11, a date that still remains on the court’s lists.

At a hearing last month, Judge Nina Tempia had confirmed that his extradition trial is scheduled between May 11 and 15 next year, with the case management hearings set to begin from February next year. Modi has been behind bars at Wandsworth prison since his arrest on March 19 on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard on charges brought by the Indian government.

During subsequent hearings, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Modi was the “principal beneficiary” of the fraudulent issuance of letters of undertaking (LoUs) as part of a conspiracy to defraud PNB and then laundering the proceeds of crime.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor

Enter your email address to subscribe to this The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,021,460 other subscribers

Archives

November 2019
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  
Advertisement