PTI Photo by Vijay Verma
PTI Photo by Vijay Verma

New Delhi: Hours after he took over as the new Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India on Tuesday, Om Prakash Rawat said that there is ‘no weakness’ in Election Commission’s decision on disqualifying 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmakers in office of profit case.

“It is a quasi judicial matter so, it is not right to comment on it. But I would like to say that whenever the Election Commission takes a decision, it keeps in view that there is no weakness, infirmity in it,” Rawat told ANI.

The EC had earlier recommended 20 MLAs of AAP be disqualified for holding offices of profit as ‘parliamentary secretaries.’ President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday approved EC’s recommendation.

The poll monitor had issued the AAP MLAs two notices – on September 28, 2017 and November 2, 2017 – to file their written submissions on the information the Delhi government had provided on the offices of parliamentary secretaries the legislators had occupied. The newly-appointed chief election commissioner said the notices were issued for the purpose of giving the AAP MLAs a hearing.

Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh Cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Om Prakash Rawat took over as the new Chief Election Commissioner of India. He succeeds Achal Kumar Joti, a Gujarat cadre IAS officer, who remitted office yesterday.

Rawat’s tenure will end in December 2018. He was appointed as the Election Commissioner in August 2015. A CEC has a tenure of six years. But if officers turn 65 before that, they demit office.

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