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The Delhi High Court has adjourned until September 4 the hearing on rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra’s plea challenging his disqualification from Delhi Assembly. The Karawal Nagar MLA was disqualified with effect from January 27 when he had shared the stage with BJP leaders at an election event organised by them.

The HC has also asked Mishra to file his response to the findings against him in the Speaker’s order disqualifying him from the legislative assembly. Justice Vibhu Bakhru said that Mishra’s claims of violation of natural justice would have no meaning if did not contest or dispute the findings of the August 2 order by Speaker Ram Niwas Goel. The rebel AAP leader’s lawyers told the court that all the allegations or findings against him were not disputed, but it would not mean that he has voluntarily given up AAP’s membership, agencies reported.

Mishra had moved the high court on Tuesday against his disqualification from the Legislative Assembly under the anti-defection law. The Speaker had also said that since Mishra campaigned for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, it indicated that he has “given up the membership of his original political party”.

Seeking quashing of the Speaker’s order, Mishra had contended in court that the Speaker’s decision was “wholly illegal, arbitrary, vague and mala fide” as he was not provided any opportunity to present his case.

The petition had claimed that the Speaker assumed that Mishra had voluntarily given up his AAP membership when he attended the BJP event, without considering that he had attended the budget session and also followed all the whips issued by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as well as supported all the bills, proposals and resolutions tabled by the government.

—India Legal Bureau

 

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