It’s Unconstitutional: Ashutosh on EC Disqualifying 20 AAP MLAs

“It seems like a political decision, done on someone’s indication,” the senior AAP leader told The Quint.

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Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh on Friday, 19 January, slammed the Election Commission's purported recommendation to the President to disqualify 20 party MLAs, who allegedly held offices of profit, calling the move "unconstitutional" and "undemocratic.”

Speaking to The Quint, Ashutosh said:

We were naturally taken aback by today’s development. It seemed like a political decision, done on someone’s indication. The reality is that the hearing of AAP MLAs before the Election Commission has not happened.
Ashutosh, AAP leader

The AAP leader accused the Election Commission of not even bothering to know the AAP MLAs' side and arguments. "So, how can it make such a decision?" he asked.

This is a violation of the law of natural justice. It is similar to a court pronouncing death sentence for an accused without listening to his/her arguments, without any trial. This is wrong, unconstitutional, undemocratic and unethical.

Ashutosh expressed confidence that the court would give justice to the party. He also slammed the election body in a series of tweets.

In its opinion sent to President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday, 19 January, the Election Commission said that the MLAs, being parliamentary secretaries, held offices of profit and were liable to be disqualified as members of the Delhi Assembly, highly-placed sources had told PTI.

According to PTI, the President is bound to go by the recommendation of the Commission.

Moreover, while AAP had approached the Delhi HC against the EC’s purported recommendation, the court refused to grant interim relief to the party’s MLAs in the office of profit case.

When contacted earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti had said since the matter is sub judice, he would not offer any comment on the issue, PTI further reported.

Meanwhile, both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the AAP after the development. Congress leader Ajay Maken asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to resign, saying he "does not have the moral right to stay on in his post".

The Delhi BJP welcomed the decision of the EC's purported recommendation.

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