Disqualified AAP MLAs had no right to oral hearing: Election Commission

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday told the Delhi high court that 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators who have been disqualified did not have a “right to audience” with the Commission. The principles of natural justice, it said, were fulfilled by allowing the MLAs the opportunity to file written submissions in their defence.

A bench comprising justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar was hearing the MLAs’ plea challenging the 20 January Presidential order disqualifying them for allegedly holding office of profit as “parliamentary secretaries” under the Delhi government.

Amit Sharma, appearing for the EC, argued that the right to oral hearing was not one of the tenants of natural justice. The right to representation, which is an essential element of natural justice, can be allowed in written form, he argued, while informing the court that the MLAs had also submitted detailed replies to the showcause issued by the EC. “This is not a case of no-opportunity. This is a case of sufficient opportunity…There is no right to audience in all cases. Parties can be heard through written submissions also,” Sharma argued livemint