Final hearing on 21 AAP MLAs facing axe over office of profit

SansadTV Bureau

Arvind-Kejriwal-Delhi-CM-400x265The Election commission will hear the final arguments on the possible disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs in the office of profit case. The hearing is on the appointment of these MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

The issue has been pending since December 2016 and was held up due to assembly elections in five states.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal made the appointments in March 2015, month after forming his government in the national capital.

For the appointment, his government had passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June 2015. The amendment exempted the post of parliamentary secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect.

The party’s efforts, however, got a jolt when President Pranab Mukherjee declined approval to the proposed amendment in June 2016 and the Delhi High Court set aside the order appointing the MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

Last year on September 8, Delhi High Court today set aside the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s order appointing 21 AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal passed the order after the counsel appearing for Delhi government “conceded” that the March 13, 2015 order was issued without taking concurrence or views of Lieutenant Governor.

Prior to that, the Centre had on July 13 opposed the appointment of 21 parliamentary secretaries by the Aam Aadmi Party government, saying the post neither finds place in the Constitution, nor does it find a place in the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act of 1997, except for the post of Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister.