In a major relief to the Aam Aadmi Party, the Delhi High Court on Friday set aside the Election Commission of India recommendations to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs in connection to the office of profit case.
The High Court has also directed the Election Commission (EC) to hear the entire office of profit case again. Earlier on January 19, the President had disqualified the MLAs “for holding office of profit” on the recommendation from the Election Commission.
"MLAs were not given a chance to put their point, so now the court has given them a chance to do that. The EC will hear their plea again," said Saurabh Bhardwaj, one of the 20 MLAs disqualified.
Reacting to the development, AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said, "Truth has won. Elected representatives of Delhi were illegally disqualified. Delhi High Court has given justice to the people of Delhi. Congratulations to the People of Delhi."
During the arguments in the HC, the MLAs argued that the EC's order disqualifying them for allegedly holding office-of-profit was passed in "complete violation of natural justice" and they were not given an opportunity to explain their stand before the poll panel.
After the court's order, Prashant Patel, the petitioner in the office of profit case said, "The court has said that this case will be reopened. I had just raised a constitutional issue, there is no setback for me."
सत्य की जीत हुई। दिल्ली के लोगों द्वारा चुने हुए प्रतिनिधियों को ग़लत तरीक़े से बर्खास्त किया गया था। दिल्ली हाई कोर्ट ने दिल्ली के लोगों को न्याय दिया। दिल्ली के लोगों की बड़ी जीत। दिल्ली के लोगों को बधाई। https://t.co/eDayHziHSn— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 23, 2018
Delhi High Court sets aside the ECI recommendations to disqualify the 20 AAP MLAs in connection to the office of profit. pic.twitter.com/ujt903V7E5— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2018