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Monday 6 April 2020

Kapil Mishra withdraws plea against disqualification as MLA

In his petition, Kapil Mishra had said when he attended the BJP event, the speaker assumed he had voluntarily given up his AAP membership

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New Delhi: Disqualified AAP MLA Kapil Mishra, who recently joined the BJP, on Wednesday withdrew from the Delhi High Court his plea against his disqualification under the anti-defection law. A bench of Justice Navin Chawla allowed Mishra to withdraw his petition on his counsel Ashwani Kumar Dubey’s request.

“I have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), my sole mission now is to throw out the corrupt Kejriwal government from Delhi,” Mishra told reporters later outside the court.

The Karawal Nagar MLA was disqualified with effect from 27 January for sharing a stage for the BJP electioneering programme.

Kapil Mishra said he joined the BJP on 17 August, much after the Assembly Speaker disqualified him on 8 August.

In his order, the Speaker had said Mishra appears to have “given up the membership of his original political party” as he campaigned for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls.

Mishra, however, had argued in his affidavit to the court that other AAP leaders like Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had shared the stage with rival political parties, too, like the Congress and the SP and there could not be different yardsticks for members.

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

In his petition, Kapil Mishra had said when he attended the BJP event, the Speaker assumed he had voluntarily given up his AAP membership.

The Speaker, however, did not consider the fact that he had attended the budget session and also followed all the whips issued by the Aam Aadmi Party government besides supporting all the bills, proposals and resolutions piloted by it.

The Speaker’s order had come on a complaint by AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj, seeking Mishra’s disqualification from the Delhi Assembly under the anti-defection law.

“It is submitted that despite the request of the petitioner, respondents (the Assembly and Delhi government) have not given him the opportunity to contest his case on merits and also did not permit him to lead the evidence, did not allow him to summon witnesses and knowingly and deliberately in a clandestine manner avoided the cross-examination of respondent No 4 (Bharadwaj),” Mishra’s petition had said.

It had also said the Speaker never gave him the opportunity to raise the point of non-maintainability of the complaint or the fact that Bharadwaj had no locus standing to file the petition under the anti-defection law.

Kapil Mishra had claimed the action was taken against him as he had highlighted the alleged acts of corruption by the chief minister, ministers and other functionaries of the city government and the Speaker had “prejudice and oblique motive” against him. He had said he visited Vijay Goel’s residence on 27 January, where he also met BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, and under no law that visit could have remotely be equated to voluntarily relinquishing the AAP membership.

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