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In one of the last key orders he issued before demitting office, Joti had recommended disqualification of the 20 MLAs to the President on 19 January 2018 on grounds of holding office of profit.

It said there was violation of natural justice and no oral hearing was given to the MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators of the Delhi Assembly. "Congratulations to the people of Delhi", Kejriwal tweeted.

The Election Commission refuted the above arguments and stated that the principles of natural justice were diligently followed during the proceedings.

"The EC should definitely give a proper re-hearing to the MLAs", he said, adding that but simultaneously "we should note that the court has not absolved the MLAs from the charge of being beneficiary of "office of profit".

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Chief Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that all the elected MLAs have been wrongly disqualified.

He said the attempt by the EC was another move by the Centre to deter AAP from pursuing the path of honest politics.

With HC scrapping their disqualification, the 20 AAP MLAs will now be able to exercise all the powers that they are entitled to on their post.


AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, "The principles of natural justice hold that a person against whom an accusation is made should have a chance to explain his or her stand".

The judgement was read out by justice Sanjiv Khanna in a jam-packed courtroom, after which the jubilant AAP MLAs, who were present there, congratulated each other. "In light of the statutory provisions and the legal position, the EC has to render and give their opinion on the reference", the court said.

A single-judge bench of the high court had on 24 January directed the EC to maintain status quo on the disqualifications by withholding announcement of bypoll dates for the Delhi assembly seats that would fall vacant as a result.

Lawyer and petitioner in the case Prashant Patel was the first to complain to then President Pranab Mukherjee that the MLAs holding the offices of parliamentary secretaries was in violation of the Constitution.

It may be noted that the High Court had reserved its judgment on February 28 after the MLAs and the Election Commission concluded their arguments.

Earlier on January 22, the MLAs withdrew their plea from the High Court that they had filed on January 19 after the ECI's recommendation.


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