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Delhi HC seeks Election Commission’s response for not allowing AAP MLAs to summon witnesses in office-of-profit case

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New Delhi | Published: October 3, 2018 4:11:08 PM

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the Election Commission (EC) on a plea by an AAP MLA challenging the poll panel's decision not to allow disqualified AAP MLAs to summon witnesses in the office-of-profit matter.

Delhi High Court, Election Commission,  disqualification of 20 AAP MLA, Kailash Gahlot, Delhi Assembly, Delhi governmentThe court was hearing a petition by AAP MLA Kailash Gahlot challenging the EC?s September 25 decision rejecting the MLAs? plea to summon government officials as witnesses in the office-of-profit matter pending before the poll panel. (PTI)

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the Election Commission (EC) on a plea by an AAP MLA challenging the poll panel’s decision not to allow disqualified AAP MLAs to summon witnesses in the office-of-profit matter. Justice Siddharth Mridul also sought reply of complainant Prashant Patel on whose plea the poll panel had earlier recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs. The court was hearing a petition by AAP MLA Kailash Gahlot challenging the EC’s September 25 decision rejecting the MLAs’ plea to summon government officials as witnesses in the office-of-profit matter pending before the poll panel.

The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on November 1. EC had on January 19 this year recommended the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs, accused of holding offices-of-profit as they were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015. This was done soon after they were elected to the Delhi Assembly.

The high court had on August 20 allowed the MLAs to move EC for permission to summon witnesses and had asked the poll panel to decide it as per the law. In September 2016, the high court had ruled against their appointment as parliamentary secretaries. The EC had on January 19 this year recommended the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs.

The high court had on January 24 refused to stay the Centre’s notification disqualifying them, but restrained the poll panel from taking any “precipitate measures” such as announcing dates for bypolls to fill the vacancies. Apart from Gahlot, the other MLAs including Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, Sanjeev Jha, Rajesh Gupta, Vijendra Garg, Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Madan Lal, Shiv Charan Goyal, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Rajesh Rishi, were disqualified. AAP legislators Anil Kumar, Som Dutt, Avtar Singh, Sukhvir Singh Dala, Manoj Kumar, Nitin Tyagi and Jarnail Singh were also disqualified.

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