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BJP demands disqualification of Bharti; Delhi Assembly Speaker says he is seeking legal opinion

·2-min read

New Delhi, Jan 23(PTI) The BJP on Saturday demanded that AAP MLA Somnath Bharti be disqualified from the Delhi Assembly after he was sentenced to two years imprisonment in an assault case, but Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said he is taking legal opinion in the matter.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta also said AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal should expel Bharti from the party after his conviction.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey sentenced Bharti to two years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on him in the 2016 case of assault on AIIMS security staff and damaging of hospital property.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor claimed that the Supreme Court has 'clearly' stated that any sitting MLA who has been convicted for two years or more will 'stand disqualified' irrespective of his appeal in any higher court.

'In the light of aforesaid judgement, MLA Somnath Bharti stands disqualified after being convicted for two years by a Delhi Court today,' Kapoor said.

Public morality demands that Arvind Kejriwal should immediately expel Bharti from Aam Aadmi Party, he added.

Bharti, MLA from Malviya Nagar seat, was granted bail to enable him to file an appeal before the high court against his conviction in the case and jail term.

'I have sought legal opinion in the matter and will take decisions accordingly and as per law,' Delhi Assembly Speaker Goel said when asked about the matter.

Bharti said in a statement that he has 'full faith' in the judiciary and he is going to file an appeal against his conviction.

'I am filing an appeal against the order of ACMM in FIR No. 659/2016 by which I was convicted and sentenced and while other similarly placed four persons were acquitted,' he stated.

The Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) in a statement said it respects the judiciary but 'injustice has happened to Somnath Bharti'.

'We are confident that justice will be done to him at the appellate level,' the party added. PTI VIT RT