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Above: AAP MLAs (file picture)/Photo: UNI  

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday (February 28) reserved its verdict in the 20 AAP MLAs’ disqualification case. The MLAs were disqualified by the Election Commission of India for holding ‘office of profit’. The MLAs are seeking annulment of the notification by President Ram Nath Kovind.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for the Union of India asked the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chandrashekhar whether the President can be impleaded in such matters.

The counsel said: “An attempt was made to demonstrate that only one notice was made and no last opportunity was given. They were sent notice on September 29, 2016 and it was sent to all of them. The second notice was sent to them on October 10, 2016 which was not brought to the notice of this court by them. They requested extension of time which was given to them. Ample opportunity was given to them.”

To which the bench asked: “Was any reply submitted by October 16?”

The counsel replied: “Yes. The last notice which was sent to them was on November 2 which was not read.”

The counsel further stated: “Section 146 of People’s Representation Act says that there is no word as hearing. An only grievance of the petitioner was replies were not considered by election commission while giving the opinion because oral hearing was not granted.”

The bench countered: “You are not concerned about section but concerned about your personal opinion. A party cannot mandate for oral hearing upon the discretion of the Election Commission,” and added, “what is the status of cases with regard to disqualification?”

The counsel replied: “After submitting the rejoinder the counsel cannot ask for judicial review.”

—India Legal Bureau

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