They also demanded cross examination of Prashant Patel, the complainant.
New Delhi: The 20 AAP MLAs, against whom the Election Commission (EC) resumed disqualification hearing, have demanded cross examination of the Delhi government and state Assembly officials to prove that their appointment as parliamentary secretaries does not come under the ambit of office-of-profit.
The EC, on Thursday, resumed hearing in the case after the Delhi high court set aside their disqualification for allegedly holding office-of-profit.
The poll panel’s decision to resume hearing came after the high court had termed the EC recommendation as “vitiated” and “bad law” and directed the commission to hear the issue afresh.
In an application filed before the commission during the hearing, the MLAs said they would like to cross examine the secretary of the Delhi legislative Assembly and the officials of the law and accounts departments of the Delhi government to verify whether they derived any “profit” from their work or used official cars and office space in conduct of their duties.
They also demanded cross examination of Prashant Patel, the complainant. The officials had filed documents before the EC on the issue of office-of-profit. “I have opposed the plea. The Delhi high court had said the hearing should purely be on the issue of office-of-profit. It is not a civil court where cross examinations take place,” Mr Patel said.
The HC had said that with the poll body’s opinion and subsequent notification being set aside, the proceedings before the EC would continue from the stage the error and lapse occurred. The MLAs were accused of holding office-of-profit as they were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015.
This was soon after they were elected to the Assembly. In September 2016, the high court had ruled against their appointment as parliamentary secretaries after hearing their pleas on a daily basis.
The commission had, on January 19, recommended the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs. President Ram Nath Kovind had accepted the commission’s opinion the following day.