New Delhi: The Election Commission on Saturday told Delhi High Court that it was not bound to call the 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs for a hearing before being disqualified for holding office of profit.
The poll body said that the lawmakers were given "ample opportunity to come and participate in several hearings" earlier but the lawmakers "gave only illusionary responses", according to a report in NDTV.
The Delhi High Court had on Tuesday asked the Election Commission to state the factual aspects behind its decision to disqualify the 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit by filing an affidavit.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar asked the poll panel to file the affidavit after the EC said it wanted to respond to some of the allegations made in the MLAs' pleas challenging their disqualification from the Delhi Assembly.
A day after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia claimed that there was no hearing and they were not given a chance to explain their stand.
Sisodia also alleged that his government was being deliberately targeted for the "honest work" they have been doing in Delhi.
He said the attempt by the EC was another move by the Centre to deter AAP from pursuing the path of honest politics.
In a blow to Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the EC on January 19 recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit which was also accepted by President Ram Nath Kovind, setting the stage for their ouster from Delhi Assembly.
The MLAs had moved the Delhi High Court but the court refused to pass any interim relief to the legislators.