Two weeks after the Delhi high court set aside the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs on the ground that the Election Commissions recommendation in the office-of-profit case was bad in law, the poll panel set a date to hold a fresh hearing on the merits of the complaint.
The Commission has dispatched notices to all legislators informing that Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat and Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa will conduct oral hearing on the matter at 3 pm on May 17.
In a 79-page order passed last month, the Delhi HC had said that the Commissions opinion, tendered to the President on January 19, had failed to comply with the principles of natural justice as the EC had not given the MLAs a hearing.
The plea was then sent back to the Commission for fresh hearing. The EC had not held a single hearing on the case after its ruling of June 23, 2017, when Nasim Zaidi was the Chief Election Commissioner.
The poll panels last ruling had stated that the Commission will intimate the next date of hearing to all the parties concerned in the present proceedings in due course.
However, it tendered its opinion to the President on January 19. The EC had defended its decision to not hold oral hearings on the merits of the case on the ground that the AAP MLAs were asked to present their defence in writing, but they didnt seek an opportunity for personal hearing.