NEW DELHI: The poll panel on Tuesday rejected a plea by Aam Aadmi Party MLAs to summon witnesses to prove that they were not enjoying the benefits of any office of profit by holding the post of parliamentary secretaries.
“No cogent reason has been given by the Applicants/Respondents for calling any of the witnesses as prayed in the Application...There is no reason to call witnesses to give evidence on the same... Moreover, as far as proving the non-receipt of benefits is concerned, it is reiterated that it is not the actual receipt but the potential that is to be seen in an enquiry like the present matter... There is again no need to call any witness to prove that no benefit was taken by the applicants/respondents by virtue of occupying the post of parliamentary secretaries," the Commission said in its order on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Commission had rejected a similar plea by the 20 AAP lawmakers to cross examine the petitioner in the office of profit case Prashant Patel.
The EC also said the application did not mention proper details of the witnesses to be called.
“They have only mentioned that 'concerned official' from certain departments may be summoned for examination and no specific name of a witness has been supplied ...The omission of names and details of the witnesses makes it impossible to issue summons and this application deserves to be rejected on this very ground," the order said.
The AAP MLAs had said that they were filing the application to bring out clear factual matrix on whether they held an office of profit under the government as alleged by the petitioner.
The Election Commission is hearing afresh the case related to disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for allegedly holding office-of-profit by virtue of their appointment as parliamentary secretaries.
The EC had, on January 19, recommended the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs.