NEW DELHI: The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday approached the Delhi High Court against Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify their 20 MLAs in Office of Profit case while claiming that the poll panel 'never touched this low'.
"The EC should not be the letterbox of the PMO. But that is the reality today," Ashutosh tweeted. "A person like me who has covered EC as a reporter during (T N) Seshan days, today I can say EC has never touched so low ever," the scribe-turned politician added.
Earlier today, in a big setback to the ruling party in Delhi, the Election Commission recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs after finding them guilty of holding an 'office of profit'.
As per sources, the EC sent its recommendation to President Ram Nath Kovind. Refusing to comment on the matter, the EC said that the matter is sub judice. "We will not comment on what recommendation has been given to the President," Election Commissioner AK Joti said.
The petition against the AAP MLAs was filed by Delhi lawyer Prashant Patel who had sought their disqualification. The petitioner had claimed that the MLAs had enjoyed perks and benefits while they held the office of parliamentary secretaries.
The Congress had also on June 9, 2016, moved the Election Commission to seek disqualification of 21 AAP legislators.
Of the 21 MLAs, the proceedings against Jarnail Singh were dropped after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly polls in February 2017.
The EC had sought an explanation from the AAP lawmakers. In a plea filed in 2017, the legislators had requested the EC to drop the case of 'office of profit' against them. The EC, however, rejected the request stating that the proceedings against them will continue.
In March 2015, the AAP government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, to exempt the posts of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect.