AAP MLAs had ample time to respond: Joti

Former chief election commissioner A K Joti on Saturday said the Election Commission of India (EC) had given ample opportunities to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs to respond to its notice in their dis

Published: 25th March 2018 02:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2018 06:53 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:Former chief election commissioner A K Joti on Saturday said the Election Commission of India (EC) had given ample opportunities to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs to respond to its notice in their disqualification matter.

The Delhi High Court had on Friday set aside the Election Commission’s recommendations to disqualify the 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, accused of holding offices of profit. The bench had sent the matter back to the EC to hear the complaint afresh.

Talking exclusively to The New Indian Express, he said:  “They were served notices with the interval of more than a month. We had given due opportunity to all the MLAs with written notices served to individual MLAs on September 28 and November 2, 2017. However, they refused to give us their written submission saying that the matter was pending in Delhi High Court and hence the Commission should not hear the disqualification matter.”

Joti said the EC issued many interim orders and the MLAs had gone to the DelhiHigh Court against that orders. But, he, refused to comment on the High Court judgment.

The case dates back to March 2015 when 20 MLAs were appointed as parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government after the AAP’s stunning victory in the Assembly elections.In September 2016, the Delhi High Court had ruled against this appointment. On January 20, President Ram Nath Kovind, on the EC’s recommendation, had disqualified all 20 for holding an office-of-profit.

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