AAP office-of-profit case: Meet the lawyer who filed the petition
Barely a week ago, he received the National Changemakers Award 2018 from the vice chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). On Friday, his name emerged as the reason behind a likely bypoll to 20 assembly constituencies in Delhi.
Meet Prashant Patel Umrao, the 31-year-old lawyer who filed the office of profit petition against 20 AAP MLAs after they were appointed as parliamentary secretaries to help ministers with official work in March 2015.
“Today, my hard work of three years has paid off. I believe that the law will finally catch up with the offending MLAs,” said Umrao, who practises in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court of India.
Son of a teacher and a housewife from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, Umrao has been living in Noida and Delhi since 2009. After his schooling in RSS-run Saraswati Shishu Mandir in his home town, he did his graduation in computer sciences from Ewing Christian College in Allahabad, and later completed a degree in law from Chaudhary Charan Singh University. He has been practising law, mostly family and criminal cases, since 2015.
Soon after Umrao made his foray into the legal profession he found himself taking on the newly formed AAP government in Delhi. On June 19, 2015, less than six months after the new government assumed power, Umrao wrote to the President’s office, questioning the legality of parliamentary secretaries. This was eventually referred to the poll panel which on finally recommended disqualification of the lawmakers on Friday.
Umrao said he was inspired to take up the case after reading a book “Delhi sarkaar ki shaktiyan aur seemayen (powers and limitations of Delhi government)” by former Delhi assembly secretary, SK Sharma.
“There is a chapter on parliamentary secretaries in the book which talks about how their appointment flouts the law. That is when I thought of challenging it,” he said.
A member of the Hindu Sena and of the now-disbanded Hindu Legal Cell, Umrao had previously filed an FIR against actor Aamir Khan and director Rajkumar Hirani for allegedly portraying gods in poor light in the film PK. He also sought an intervention of the Supreme Court when Kanhaiya Kumar sought bail. He also filed a complaint against former Censor Board chief Leela Samson for alleged corruption.
Umrao is active on Twitter with over 32,000 followers.
“I am least bothered about whether the AAP government is derailed or not. All I know is law should not be bent,” he said.
In the run-up to Independence Day on Sunday, Delhi Police arrested two men near the Anand Vihar bus terminal as they brought in more than 2,000 live cartridges into the city, officers aware of the matter said. Police identified the two alleged ammunition carriers, arrested on August 6, as Ajmal Khan and Rashid — both from Suetha Kalan village in Uttar Pradesh's Jaunpur district. The cartridges can be used in rifles, pistols and countrymade revolvers.
Two minor brothers aged around 7 and 5 years, whose bodies were found in a Barabanki canal, were tortured before being thrown into a canal, revealed a post-mortem examination report. The two siblings were identified as Fatehpur resident Ram Kishore's two sons Krishna, 7 and Divyansh, 5. The two children had been missing since Monday evening when along with their maternal uncle, Mahendra Kumar, they had left for a market near their house.
Following the Supreme Court hearing on Friday, the charging of the Supertech twin towers in Noida's Sector 93A will finally start from Saturday morning to ensure that the demolition takes place on August 28. Over 3,700 kilograms of explosives will be used to bring down the 103-metre-tall structures and around 250kg of explosives will be transported to the site daily from Saturday onwards.
Attacking the state government over alleged mismanagement in the special bus service and free rides to women on Raksha Bandhan, Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav said “the women had become victim to the BJP government's unpardonable negligence”. “So much so that in Bulandshahr, women were seen travelling of the roof of the buses while in Sikandrabad in Banda they were seen waiting for hours on end to get a bus,” he said.
The bodies of two men, aged around 30 and 20 years, were recovered from Chinhat and Kakori areas of the state capital on Friday. Police suspect the two bodies were disposed of on a deserted stretch after the crime. The police said the identification of the body found in Chinhat was yet to take place while the second deceased was identified as Sumit Gautam, 22, of Kakori's Jaliamau village.