Setback for AAP, Delhi HC revokes appointment of 21 MLAs

| Updated: Sep 08, 2016 19:41 IST

New Delhi [India], Spet.08 (ANI): In a major setback to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court on Thursday set aside the appointment of 21 Aam Admi Party MLAs as Parliament Secretaries. The AAP had appointed the Parliament Secretaries to assist its ministers in the national capital. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal pronounced the judgement after the Delhi Government's counsel accepted that the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Amendment) Bill- 2015, was passed without the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor. In May 2015, Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, an NGO, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the court stating that the appointment of Parliamentary secretaries was 'unconstitutional,' as per the provisions of Article 239AA, section(4). "The Delhi government conceded their mistake and the HC acknowledging their mistake, set aside their appointment order," Ravindra Kuamr, Counsel for Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, told ANI. Earlier in June, President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the Bill passed by the Delhi Government in 2015 to exempt the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the purview of office-for-profit. Kejriwal had passed an order appointing the 21 MLAs, including Alka Lamba, Jarnail Singh, Adarsh Shastri and Rajesh Gupta, as Parliamentary Secretaries on March 13, 2015. Attempting to save from disqualification provisions for holding two offices of profit at one time, the Delhi Government then sought to amend the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of the Disqualification) Act, 1997. The Bill was forwarded by Lieutenant Governor to the Centre, which in turn sent it to the President with its comments. BJP and Congress have been repeatedly demanding disqualification of the 21 MLAs for holding dual posts. (ANI)