The 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs on Sunday moved Delhi High court to challenge Election Commission of India’s (ECI) order in the office of profit case. Earlier, the EC had dismissed their application for the cross-examination of the petitioners to prove that they were not holding any office-of-profit.
“There is no occasion and need for cross-examination of the petitioner as he is not a witness in the present proceedings and the respondents have failed to make out a case for calling any witness,” EC’s order had read.
The Commission further said that objective facts which the court had taken cognisance have been drawn on the basis of information which it received from the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNTCD).
“Moreover, in order to follow, Principles of Natural Justice in letter and spirit, multiple opportunities were accorded to the Respondents to offer their comments on these documents. After receipt of these documents the Respondents did not deny or challenge any single page from the 2500 pages of documents received from GNCTD,” Commission was quoted as saying.
Blaming the AAP MLAs for trying to delay the matter, ECI said that the MLAs trying to call GNCTD officers to prove government records and documents which GNCTD has submitted to the Commission is a tactic to drag the matter.
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 were disqualified by the President on ECI’s recommendation.
The MLAs challenged their disqualification on grounds of holding office-of-profit.