EC to hear AAP MLAs office of profit case on May 17

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) will hear the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs Office of Profit case on May 17 at 3:00 pm.

On March 23, the Delhi High Court restored the membership of 20 disqualified MLAs quashing the EC’s recommendation in connection with the same case.

The court, while setting aside the recommendation and the consequent Presidential order at the same time, directed the poll panel to hear the matter afresh, observing no oral hearing was given to the MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators of the Delhi Assembly.

The MLAs had told the court that the EC’s order disqualifying them was passed in complete violation of natural justice as they were not given an opportunity to explain their stand before the poll panel.

In response to a query from the bench during the hearings, the legislators had agreed to have the case sent back to the poll panel so that the MLAs could be granted an oral hearing.

The MLAs are accused of holding offices of profit as they were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015.

On January 19, the EC had 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, 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.

President Ram Nath Kovind had accepted the EC’s opinion the next day.

The disqualification had reduced AAP’s strength in the 70-member Delhi Assembly from 66 to 46. (ANI)