Office of Profit case: EC files affidavit in Delhi HC, opposes plea of 20 AAP MLAs challenging disqualification

The Election Commission of India on Sunday filed a written affidavit in Delhi High Court opposing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs' plea that sought the quashing of their disqualification.

Office of Profit case: EC files affidavit in Delhi HC, opposes plea of 20 AAP MLAs challenging disqualification

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission of India on Sunday filed a written affidavit in Delhi High Court opposing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs' plea that sought the quashing of their disqualification.

The Election Commission also objected the MLAs' claim according to which they were never given a hearing before the Commission.

On January 30, the High Court had asked the Election Commission to file an affidavit on the factual aspects based on which the poll body decided to disqualify 20 MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party for holding office of profit.

The Commission was asked to file a written reply on the matter. The case will be heard in HC on February 7.

The Delhi HC had earlier asked EC not to issue any notification for Delhi bypolls. The HC had sought a reply of all respondents including the Election Commission on the plea of disqualified MLAs.

Eight AAP MLAs have filed a plea against their disqualification for holding office of profit.

On January 19, the poll panel had made the recommendation for the disqualification of the 20 legislators, which was given assent by the President. On January 20, the Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification that the President held that the 20 MLAs stand disqualified under Section 15(1)(a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act.

The EC had made the recommendation while deciding a plea by advocate Prashant Patel, who had sought disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs for holding the office of parliamentary secretaries, which he had said amounted to office of profit.

The proceedings against Jarnail Singh were dropped after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly polls. 

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