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Office of profit row: Delhi HC reserves order on plea of 20 disqualified AAP MLAs

The MLAs had yesterday told the court that EC's order disqualifying them for allegedly holding office-of-profit was passed in "complete violation of natural justice" as they were not given the opportunity to explain their stand before the poll panel.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Updated: February 28, 2018 17:39 IST ]
Office of profit row: Delhi HC reserves order on plea of 20
Office of profit row: Delhi HC reserves order on plea of 20 disqualified AAP MLAs

The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs' plea challenging their disqualification in office of profit case.

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar kept its decision pending after the MLAs, Election Commission of India (EC) and other parties concerned concluded their arguments.

"Arguments heard. Judgement reserved," the bench said.

The MLAs had yesterday told the court that EC's order disqualifying them for allegedly holding office-of-profit was passed in "complete violation of natural justice" as they were not given the opportunity to explain their stand before the poll panel.

The bench was also requested by the legislators to remand their case back to the poll panel with a direction to hear the matter afresh.

The MLAs had approached the high court challenging their disqualification after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to the EC's recommendation.

Backing its recommendation to the President for AAP MLAs' disqualification, the poll panel had submitted that the legislators cannot claim that they were not holding office-of-profit.

The EC had earlier claimed that the disqualified MLAs' plea was not maintainable and was liable to be dismissed.

The high court was hearing the plea on a day-to-day basis since February 7.

The high court had on January 24 refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying them, but had restrained the poll panel from taking any "precipitate measures" such as announcing dates for by polls to fill the vacancies.

The EC had on January 19 recommended the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs - Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Kailash Gahlot, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal Khufiya, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar, Nitin Tyagi and Jarnail Singh.

The president had accepted the EC's opinion the next day.

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