The Election Commission has rejected the request for cross-examination of the petitioner in the AAP 20 MLAs’ disqualification case and fixed the final arguments on the office-of-profit charge for July 23.

In its 70-page order, the EC said: “There is no occasion and need for the cross-examination of the petitioner as he is not a witness in the present proceedings.” The respondents had also failed to make out a case for calling any witness as pleaded in their applications, it added.

After the hearing resumed in May on the Delhi High Court order, for the cross-examination of the petitioner, Prashant Patel, and calling of witnesses.

The Commission said the High Court’s direction was very clear and precise, that was “to hear arguments on the most important and seminal issue as to ‘what constitutes an office of profit under the government’ and then re-examine the factual matrix to ascertain if the MLAs had incurred disqualification upon being appointed as parliamentary secretaries”.

In the second of round, the EC has so far held six hearings. On the Commission’s recommendation, the President had earlier disqualified the MLAs on office-of-profit charge.

The legislators had then approached the High Court, which quashed the disqualification notification and granted them relief by ordering further oral EC hearing of arguments.

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