20 AAP MLAs accused of office of profit to be pointless

The office of profit case being heard by the Election Commission against 20 AAP MLAs is set to become infructuous following the announcement of Delhi Assembly polls.

Delhi goes to polls on February 8 for which the schedule was announced on January 6.

The petitioner had alleged that by being parliamentary secretaries, the Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers were holding the office of profit and were liable for disqualification as MLAs.

"With the announcement of polls, the membership of all MLAs is now virtually over. The disqualification case is now set to become infructuous," explained a senior Commission functionary.

These 20 MLAs are free to contest upcoming polls.

In January 2018, the MLAs were disqualified on the recommendation of the Election Commission.

But in March the same year, the decision was struck down by the Delhi High Court.

Noting that the principle of natural justice was not followed as the lawmakers were not heard orally by the EC, the high court had struck down the decision to disqualify them.

Based on the high court order, the EC started hearing the case afresh.

During the fresh hearing, the AAP MLAs had sought to cross-examine the petitioner, a plea which was rejected by the EC.

The EC said the documents available were enough and there was no need to cross-examine the petitioner.

The MLAs had challenged the EC order in the Delhi High Court where it is pending.

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