Disqualified AAP MLA Kapil Mishra, who recently joined the BJP, has claimed before the Delhi High Court that the action was taken against him as he had highlighted alleged corruption of the chief minister, ministers and functionaries of the city government and the Speaker had “prejudiced and oblique motive”.
In an additional affidavit, Mishra, who has moved the high court against his disqualification from the Legislative Assembly under the anti-defection law, said he had visited Vijay Goel’s residence on January 27, where he also met BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, and that under no law this visit can remotely be equated to voluntary resignation from the AAP.
The Karawal Nagar MLA, who was disqualified with effect from January 27 when he shared the dais with BJP leaders at an election event organised by them, contended that other Aam Aadmi Party leaders like Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also shared the stage with rival political parties like the Congress and the SP and there cannot be different yardsticks for members.
The matter is listed for hearing on September 4.
Mishra claimed that the Speaker had disqualified him with effect from January 27 itself, but in order to create confusion, the Speaker in his order has mentioned some events which had happened five to seven months after January 27.
This itself shows that the respondent no.1 (Speaker) has a prejudiced and oblique motive against the petitioner and disqualified him despite not having any significant and admissible evidence to prove that the petitioner has voluntarily resigned on January 27, he said.
I state that there was no official guidelines or instructions or any notice from the Aam Aadmi Party against any of these events. All members of Aam Aadmi Party were campaigning for one political party or another.
“When the petitioner (Mishra) shared stage with some elected representatives of BJP, at the same time, many leaders of AAP including Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders, were also sharing the stage with rival political parties like Congress, BSP, SP, NCP, TMC etc…. Therefore, there cannot be two different yardsticks for different members, he said in the affidavit filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.
Mishra said he has joined BJP recently on August 17, much after the Speaker’s August 8 order by which he was disqualified.
Terming the allegations and conclusions drawn by the Speaker as illegal and unconstitutional, Mishra claimed that he was disqualified because he was a whistle blower and highlighted various corruption and other irregularities in the Delhi government
“The petitioner has lodged various complaints before various investigating authorities highlighting the corruption and irregularities by the Chief Minister of Delhi, Ministers and at their behest some other government functionaries.
“Some of the cabinet ministers are even chargesheeted by the CBI and ED pursuant to those complaints. Raising voice against the corruption and bringing it to the notice of investigation agencies and talking about the same at various public platforms is a constitutional responsibility of the petitioner,” Mishra said in the affidavit.
The “disqualification is not because of any other reason but because Mishra has brought the corruption of Chief Minister, Cabinet Ministers and other Government functionaries of Delhi Government in public domain and has publicly raised voice,” it said.
The high court had, on August 9, asked Mishra to file his response to the findings against him in the Speaker’s order disqualifying him from the Assembly.
It had said that Mishra’s claims of violation of natural justice would have no meaning if did not contest or dispute the findings in the August 2 order of Speaker Ram Niwas Goel.
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.
The Speaker’s order had come on a complaint moved 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 (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 4 (Bharadwaj),” Mishra’s petition had said.
It had also said that the Speaker never gave him the opportunity to raise the point of non-maintainability of the complaint or that Bharadwaj has no locus standi and authorisation to file the petition under the anti-defection law.