Office of profit: AAP demands apology from Election Commission

Office of profit: AAP demands apology from Election Commission

The EC had charged that 28 MLAs - seven ministers and 21 Parliamentary Secretaries - or 40% of the lawmakers were working for Delhi government at one point of time. He later met the 20 AAP MLAs.

"We will fight it out in the Election Commission again as these 20 MLAs have enjoyed perks. State of Assam, it is the law of the land that such laws appointing people as parliamentary secretaries is without legislative competence and therefore any person having held such position must be disqualified", she said.

AAP's Delhi unit chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said all the 20 party MLAs will meet people in their respective constituencies and explain to them how they were "targeted".

Senior advocates K.V. Vishwanathan and Mohan Parasaran appearing for the MLAs challenged their disqualification on the grounds of violation of the principles of natural justice.

A division Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shekhar said the January 19 EC recommendation given to the President "is vitiated and bad in law for failure to comply with principles of natural justice". "Congratulations to the people of Delhi".

A jubilant AAP asked the election commissioners to either apologise or resign.

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Meanwhile, Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said that the High Court verdict on AAP MLAs disqualification will be followed in "spirit and letter". The EC had ruled that the 20 MLAs had, in violation of established legal norms, occupied an "Office-of-Profit" while discharging duties as parliamentary secretaries.

The Court sent its recommendation back to the told ECI to re-hear the office of profit matter afresh, observing that the MLAs had not been given a proper hearing before the ECI decided on their disqualification. HC has not disputed or denied this.

The office of profit case pertains to the appointment of the MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries in the Arvind Kejriwal cabinet. Two days later, President Ram Nath Kovind approved the disqualification.

He attacked the AAP chief for promising free Wi-Fi, special security for women in DTC buses, opening at last 500 new schools and at least 20 colleges in Delhi and not fulfilling any one of them.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, while welcoming the order, joined other legislators in the House to thump desks amid chants of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".

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