The Election Commission (EC), however, contended that the court's order clearly meant that only oral arguments were to be heard.
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday referred to a larger bench a plea by some Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs challenging the EC decision to disallow them from cross-examining the person, who accused them of holding “offices-of-profit” following their appointment as parliamentary secretaries.
The MLAs, including Kailash Gehlot, have also sought that they be allowed to summon some Delhi government officials as witnesses.
Justice V.K. Rao, before whom the petitions were listed for hearing, said that the pleas were seeking clarification of the high court's March 23 decision, setting aside the poll panel's disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices-of-profit. Therefore, it has to be heard by the same division bench, which had passed that order, he added.
The court in its March 23 judgment had termed the poll panel's recommendation as “vitiated” and “bad in law” and had directed it to hear the issue afresh. The single-judge bench referred the matter for listing on August 2 before the same bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar which had delivered the March 23 verdict. The MLAs, represented by advocates Manish Vashisht and Sameer Vashisht, have claimed that that they be allowed to cross-examine the complainant, advocate Prashant Patel, and also summon witnesses.
The Election Commission (EC), however, contended that the court's order clearly meant that only oral arguments were to be heard. The order had come on the MLAs pleas challenging their disqualification for holding offices-of-profit.
The MLAs were accused of holding offices-of-profit as they were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the Delhi government in March 2015.
In September 2016, the high court had ruled against their appointment as parliamentary secretaries, after hearing their pleas daily since February 7.