Plea Seeking To Prevent J&K MPs From Entering Parliament Dismissed

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NEW DELHI – The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a plea which alleged that MPs from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir were continuing to hold their seats illegally after the bifurcation of the state into Union territories and sought to prevent them from entering Parliament.

Justice Brijesh Sethi rejected the petition filed by a retired professor, central government’s standing counsel Anil Soni, who appeared for the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, said.

Earlier in the day, during the arguments, Soni told the court that the plea was not maintainable and the petitioner did not have the locus to move such a petition.

He also contended that the professor, Abdul Gani Bhat, ought to have first made a representation to the ministry, before approaching the court.

The court had reserved its judgment earlier in the day after hearing both sides.

Bhat, who appeared in person before the court, had argued that 10 MPs — four in the Rajya Sabha and six in the Lok Sabha — from Jammu and Kashmir were enjoying the salaries and perks associated with their position at the cost of the public exchequer.

He had contended in his plea that the 10 MPs, including Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah, were “illegally” continuing in their positions.

His petition had also contended that the “presence of the 10 MPs from the erstwhile state in Parliament was immoral, illegal and unconstitutional”.

The plea had sought that they be stopped from enjoying the salary, perks and other facilities granted to MPs.

On August 5 last year, the government abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted a special status to the state, and reorganised it into two Union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

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