Delhi High Court on Monday rejected the pleas of two rebel Aam Aadmi Party MLAs who were seeking the removal of Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel from their disqualification proceedings, PTI reported. MLAs Anil Bajpai and Devinder Sehrawat accused Goel of being biased towards the Aam Aadmi Party.
Bajpai and Sehrawat also sought a direction from the Delhi High Court to appoint a committee to oversee the disqualification petition against them.
The rebel MLAs claimed that Goel had attended several events of the party and an election campaign of one of the candidates. “It is stated that there is every likelihood that respondent 1 [Speaker] won’t impartially adjudicate the present matter because he is acting as an active member of the Aam Aadmi Party [AAP] which has initiated the anti-defection proceeding,” PTI quoted the the petition as saying.
Bajpai alleged that Goel had, in the past, joined a protest organised by the Aam Aadmi Party at the Rajghat. “He also wore a black band in the Delhi Assembly in protest against the lieutenant governor’s contention that the Speaker cannot accept questions on reserve subjects,” ANI quoted Bajpai as saying.
On June 10, party MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj had filed a plea, seeking the disqualification of Bajpai and Sehrawat under the anti-defection law for allegedly joining the BJP. Goel, on June 17, had issued a notice to the two MLAs, asking them to submit their response by Monday [July 8].
On June 28, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a petition filed by Sehrawat, saying that the lawmaker can voice his grievances during the proceedings on the disqualification notice before the Assembly speaker.
Sehrawat, who is an MLA from Bijwasan, had claimed that the disqualification notice was arbitrary and illegal as he had still not taken the primary membership of the BJP.