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Office of profit row: Delhi HC asks Election Commission to state facts that led to disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

The Delhi High Court has asked the Election Commission to file an affidavit on the "factual aspects" of its decision to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs for allegedly holding offices of profit, news agency PTI reported on Tuesday.

The move comes a day after the high court had transferred to a division bench the pleas of AAP MLAs, seeking to quash their disqualification from the Delhi Assembly. A single judge bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru had fixed the matter before the acting chief justice on Tuesday.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The Commission also told the court that it would rely upon its opinion given to the president to disqualify the 20 MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries.After the brief proceedings, the court listed the matter for further hearing on 7 February, by when the MLAs have to file their responses to the EC affidavit.

On Tuesday, a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar asked the poll panel to file the affidavit after the Election Commission said it wanted to respond to some of the allegations made in the MLAs' pleas challenging their disqualification from the Delhi Assembly.

The petitions were filed by eight AAP MLAs challenging the Centre's notification disqualifying 20 of them for holding an office of profit. The high court had on 24 January refused to stay the Centre's notification but restrained the Election Commission from taking any "precipitate measures" like announcing dates for by-polls.

The high court had earlier summoned the entire records pertaining to the proceedings leading to the recommendation of the EC for 20 MLAs' disqualification which received the presidential assent on 20 January.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 12:38 PM

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