AAP disputes CEC Rawat's claim that MLAs didn't seek hearing
NEW DELHI: An hour after the filing of a fresh petition in the Delhi High Court by the 20 disqualified MLAs, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took on new Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat, terming as "false" his claim that the Delhi MLAs, disqualified on the charge of holding office of profit, did not seek hearings on the issue.
AAP leader Raghav Chadha said that contrary to CEC Rawat's assertion in a newspaper interview that AAP did not request the EC to hold hearings though it was served notices on September 28 and November 2 last year, the party did "respond twice", he claimed.
"Every judicial and quasi-judicial body has to function as per law but what happened with us is unprecedented, where the cardinal principles of natural justice were condemned," he said. In his defence, Rawat said that the "notice was comprehensive. But AAP did not respond in the context of the notice."
Chadha also dubbed as "illegal" Rawat's decision to involve himself in AAP-related cases after having recused himself in April 2017 when he was the election commissioner. The AAP was in the "complete dark" about this, he said.
AAP's Rajya Sabha MP-elect Sanjay Singh alleged that the Commission's "unilateral action" was in violation of all norms and wondered if the President could not have shown "minimum constitutional propriety" by meeting the MLAs before acting on the EC's advice. Singh said that after June 23, 2017, the MLAs were not given a date of hearing.