New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today set aside the Election Commission of India order disqualifying 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs for holding office-of-profit when they were appointed parliamentary secretaries.
A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar had kept its decision pending since February 28, when it had reserved the judgement after the legislators, EC and other parties had concluded their arguments.
During the arguments, the MLAs had 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 an opportunity to explain their stand before the poll panel.
The Election Commission 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, 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 MLAs are accused of holding offices of profit, as they were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015.