Delhi High Court seeks Centre’s response on plea against AAP legislator Kailash Gahlot.

The Delhi High Court today sought a response from the Centre on a plea by BJP MLAs seeking to remove AAP legislator Kailash Gahlot, who was disqualified for holding office of profit, as the city’s transport minister.

Justice Rekha Palli issued notice to the office of the Delhi Assembly Speaker and Gahlot, seeking their response on his continuation as a minster and attending ongoing House proceedings.

The court, however, refrained from restraining the disqualified transport minister from attending the assembly.

“Prima facie, I am inclined to restrain minister from attending the house proceedings, but I am not doing so. I need to get your (Centre, Speaker’s office and Gahlot) response before passing any order,” the judge said.

It directed them to file their response in 10 days and fixed the matter for further hearing on April 6.

Senior counsel Sanjay Jain and advocates Balendu Shekhar and Neeraj Kumar, appearing for the three BJP MLAs–Vijender Gupta, O P Sharma and Jagdish Pradhan– sought a direction for appropriate steps to remove Gahlot as minister of Delhi.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nair, appearing for Gahlot, opposed the plea of the BJP MLAs. He said they yesterday withdrew their plea from a bench which was scheduled to hear the case and are engaged in bench hunting.

The budget session of the Delhi Assembly started on March 16 and will continue till March 28.

The Election Commission had recommended the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit on January 19. The president had accepted the poll panel’s opinion the very next day.

The MLAs have challenged their disqualification order in the high court, which is yet to pronounce the judgment.

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