Rebel Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmaker Kapil Mishra, who recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in an additional affidavit in the Delhi High Court has linked his disqualification from the Assembly to his raising of “the corruption of the Chief Minister and other Ministers of Delhi government”.
Mishra said he had lodged complaints before various investigating authorities, highlighting corruption and irregularities by the Chief Minister and some Cabinet Ministers.
The Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel initiated anti-defection proceedings against Mishra on January 27 after he shared stage with some BJP leaders at an election event and disqualified him from the House through August 2 order.
Mishra in his affidavit said he visited BJP MP Vijay Goel”s residence where he met Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari. “Under no law, this visit of the petitioner can even remotely be equated to voluntarily resignation from the party,” he said and termed the allegations and conclusions drawn by the Delhi Speaker as illegal and unconstitutional.
Mishra, who joined the BJP on August 17, has sought quashing or setting aside of the August 2 order.
“The proceedings and the order is clearly in violation of law of natural justice and fair play, ultra vires to the 10th Schedule of the Constitution and being outside the purview of the ”Members of Delhi Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Grounds of Defection) Rules, 1996”,” read the petition.
The Delhi Speaker, Mishra said, behaved like the “head of a disciplinary committee of the AAP and took cognizance of a petition that has no relation with the power balance in the Assembly or with the stability of the government.”
Mishra has alleged he was not provided an opportunity to explain by the Speaker “his case on merits and also not permitted him to lead the evidence, did not allow him to summon the witnesses (list of which was submitted by petitioner), knowingly and deliberately in a clandestine manner avoided the cross-examination of MLA Saurav Bhardwaj by him.”
Mishra, who campaigned for Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, was disqualified under the anti-defection law on a complaint by Bharadwaj.
The matter, earlier being heard by Justice Vibhu Bakhru, will now be listed before another Bench on September 4 as the roster of the high court changed with effect from August 23.