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Not part of any party, filed plea as layman: 31-year-old advocate behind AAP’s woes

As news broke that the EC had recommendation disqualifying of the MLAs, Patel spent most of Friday afternoon fielding questions from the media.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi | Updated: January 20, 2018 7:40 am
Prashant Patel (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

A 31-year-old advocate from UP, who calls himself a “layperson interested in politics”, is the man behind AAP’s ongoing troubles with the office of profit issue. Prashant Patel had, on June 19, 2015, sent a 100-page report on the contentious appointments to the Election Commission and the President. That was 98 days after the Arvind Kejriwal government passed its order to appoint 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

After Patel contended that these MLAs were holding an ‘office of profit’ and should be disqualified, the Delhi Assembly passed the Delhi Member of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) (Amendment Bill), 2015, excluding parliamentary secretaries from ‘office of profit’ with retrospective effect. However, the then President Pranab Mukherjee withheld the assent to the amendment bill, and referred the matter to the Election Commission.

“I did not file this petition because I am a part of any political party. I sent it as a layman. For someone interested in politics, in a city like Delhi, it is impossible to avoid it. I realised something was amiss. After doing research, I found the move to be unconstitutional and filed a plea with the President’s secretariat,” he said.

Also read | Bypolls, 2019 loom, but AAP worry today is crack in ranks

As news broke that the EC had recommendation disqualifying of the MLAs, Patel spent most of Friday afternoon fielding questions from the media. Born in UP’s Fatehpur, Patel finished his education from Saraswati Vidya Mandir in Jahanabad. He went to Allahabad University for his graduation in computer applications and physics, and did his postgraduation from Noida’s Footwear Design and Development Institute. He finished his LLB from Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Greater Noida.

Read | Congress, BJP slam Arvind Kejriwal, Mamata Banerjee says with him

His first brush with fame came in 2014. As part of the Hindu Legal Cell — an NGO of over 100 advocates across India that takes up cases for “protection of Hindu rights” — he filed a case against the film PK, alleging that it showed Hindus in poor light. Patel had also filed an intervention in the Supreme Court when JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar sought bail.

Active on social media, Patel on his website said he has been “instrumental in raising various social issues that have an impact on society”. On claims that he has links with the BJP, he said, “I am a layman; that’s how I have filed the case. These allegations are not new but the matter here is a legal one that has today been upheld…. I am a practicing advocate and I will continue with my work.”

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  1. Sahib Singh
    Jan 21, 2018 at 3:50 am
    The President of India, the Modi Machine, the Neutralites like Mr. Prashant Patel and the RSS/BJP have a single issue as their top priority. And that is by hook or crook, "Destroy AAP". RSS/BJP have used the crooked EVMs to defeat AAP in Punjab, gain upper hand in Delhi, UP and Gujarat. And this pattern will continue because the opposition including Mr. Rahul Gandhi are fast asleep at the wheel. They are not doing anything to challenge the EVM, VVPATs to stop BJPs on going election fraud.
    1. Nishant S
      Jan 21, 2018 at 3:49 pm
      Dear AAP lover I see your concerned as the president ‘s Office, election commission, congress party and even poor Supreme Court isn’t able to supportAAPs malady. I wonder how this sham party still has learned supporters like you. It’s time people wake up and look at things objectively.
    2. sreekumar narayanapillai
      Jan 20, 2018 at 9:01 pm
      Good work done Advocate Prashant. Keep it up and wishes all the best
      1. H
        harb kahlon
        Jan 21, 2018 at 7:50 am
        Why action against delhi MLAs only? Why not on all india basis ?Almost all states including all BJP ruled have PS and CPS . why no action against them? Even High Court set aside their appointment in Haryana why no action against Haryana MLAs . This is selective and really malafide on part of EC. EC is losing credibility by these selective action and even by announcing elections by selectively giving benifit and more time to select political party
        1. R
          Jan 21, 2018 at 12:52 pm
          If u have the information like this, u can complaint to the president. U can expose BJP if u have something like this.
        2. Patnam Umamaheshwaran
          Jan 21, 2018 at 11:33 am
          When will you pick up a case against BJP, PM any way
        3. Employ Ment
          Jan 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm
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          1. P
            Jan 20, 2018 at 4:26 pm
            Such pe ions have become a shortcut to instant fame and a self promotion exercise. M.L.Sharma and Ajay Agrawal Advocates are other examples.
            1. Muftkhor By Choice
              Jan 20, 2018 at 11:52 am
              Good job.
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