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EC gave us no chance to explain: AAP MLAs to HC on disqualification

New Delhi: The disqualified Aam Aadmi Party MLAs on Monday claimed in the Delhi High Court that they were held guilty of holding office of profit by the Election Commission without giving them an opportunity to explain their stand.
The MLAs, all 20 of whom have now filed a plea in the high court against their disqualification, submitted before a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar that the poll panel had sent its opinion to President Ram Nath Kovind by "flouting the principles of natural justice".
"There was no communication to us (AAP MLAs) from the Election Commission (EC) about the hearing before it. It is in complete violation of natural justice," senior advocate K V Viswanathan, appearing for some of the MLAs, submitted.
The submissions on behalf of the MLAs came during the nearly three-hour-long day-to-day hearing of the legislators' pleas challenging their disqualification for holding offices of profit.
The AAP MLAs counsel submitted that the EC's order is not only "wrong and erroneous", it is also "unfortunately not acting fairly" and has failed to discharge its statutory duty.
"It is also that even a temporary government employer cannot be removed on the grounds of miscounduct without holding a full-fledged inquiry.
"However, in the present case, the members of the legislative assembly were removed without holding a full- fledged inquiry and without giving them any opportunity to explain if they ever held any office of profit," the bench was told. The arguments on behalf of the MLAs, which remained inconclusive, will resume on Tuesday.
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