New Delhi: The Election Commission on Friday deferred the hearing on a plea seeking disqualification of 21 AAP legislators for allegedly holding an 'office of profit' after the MLAs sought time to study the High Court judgement that set aside their appointment.
The MLAs also sought time to respond to the charges made in the second set of documents by complainant and advocate Prashant Patel. "We want to study the High Court judgment, so we have have sought time from the Election Commission," said Alka Lamba, AAP's Chandani Chowk MLA, adding that the legislators would file their reply on 7 October. A counter-reply would be filed by Patel on 14 October.
On 8 September, the High Court set aside the appointment of 21 party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. The court said the order to appoint them as parliamentary secretaries was given without the concurrence of the Lt Governor. Patel said the court order had no bearing on the EC adding that this was a "ploy" of the legislators to delay the matter.
He had made an initial complaint in July 2015 and filed another set of documents in December 2015 in response to queries by Election Commission. The MLAs objected to it saying the EC cannot consider the second set of documents filed by Patel after the President had already sought opinion on the first petition.
The AAP legislators said the EC should consider only the first petition filed by Patel, who moved the plea before the poll body on which the President had sought opinion of the Commission.
They insisted the second set of documents were not maintainable. Patel, however, argued that the second set was "not a fresh petition but a response to details sought by the EC".
"We also want to respond to the second set of documents. Plus, we need the copy of details shared by the Delhi government in matter related to parliamentary secretaries. So, we need time for it," AAP's Kasturba Nagar MLA Madanlal said.