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The Delhi High Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar on Wednesday (February 7) started hearing the appeals by the 20 Aam Admi Party (AAP) MLAs who had been disqualified by the Election Commission of India (also ratified by president Ram Nath Kovind) in the office of profit case.

The MLAs have sought to quash the notification.

On the last date of hearing (January 24) the court had issued notice to all candidates and had asked the ECI not to issue any notifications for the Delhi bye-polls till the matter had been heard properly.

On January 29 the court had instructed the ECI to “simply follow the rules, the interference of the high court can be there.” It was said that the Chief Justice of the high court – will have to make the norms as this thing comes to the judicial side.

On Wednesday arguments start with Kailash Gahlot. His counsel said that the order of reference is defective. He said there was no personal hearing. “We were never actually holding any office of profit and also in the light of this court order in 2015, one of the commissioner is recused. He cannot again rejoin. The order of the appointment of March 13, 2015 was done with the consent of the Speaker.”

The court told the counsel explain where and how it is not an office of profit. That’s it.

The counsel then showed assembly guidelines.

The court told the counsel to make a list of things that have not been answered by the ECI.

Matter was adjourned and listed for Thursday after lunch. The court said there will be day-to-day hearing.

–      India Legal Bureau

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