EC to hear 20 AAP MLAs in office of profit case on May 17

New Delhi:The Election Commission on Friday announced that it will grant an oral hearing to the 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in the office of profit case on May 17.

The Commission, in a letter on Friday, has invited the 20 legislators who were earlier disqualified in the office of profit case as well as petitioner Prashant Patel to appear before the Commission “either in person or through authorised legal representative” at 3 p.m. on this date.

The hearing would be conducted in presence of Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat and Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa.

The EC’s decision came after the Delhi High Court on March 23 set aside the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs on the grounds that no oral hearing was given to the MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators of the Delhi Assembly and hence there was violation of natural justice.

Quashing the Central government’s notification disqualifying the AAP MLAs, the High Court had directed the Election Commission to hear the matter afresh.

A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Chander Shekhar had observed that the Election Commission’s recommendation against the legislators was “bad in law” and “vitiated”.