ECI’s notice to 21 AAP MLAs

Among the MLAs who have been issued show-cause notice are Alka Lamba, Jarnail Singh and Adarsh Shastri.File Photos  

he Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued a show-cause notice to 21 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators who were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries by the Delhi government last year.

The notice, which seeks their response on why they should not be disqualified, was issued on the basis of a petition filed by Delhi-based advocate Prashant Patel. The petition alleged that the said MLAs occupied offices of profit in violation of the Constitution of India.

A party source said the petition quoted significantly from a judgment of the High Court of Calcutta which, on June 2, 2015, had struck down the appointment of 23 Parliamentary Secretaries to the Bengal Ministry. The Court had held that the “Parliamentary Secretaries are in fact Ministers though they function under a different title or nomenclature”.

On its part, the party maintained that no such Constitutional violation had taken place. “There is no illegality in what the government has done in appointing Parliamentary Secretaries. Any clarification which has been sought will be responded to in time,” AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai told The Hindu .

Apart from two women MLAs, including Chandni Chowk and Rohtas Nagar legislators Alka Lamba and Sarita Singh, respectively, the list includes prominent AAP legislators such as Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri, Rajouri Garden MLA Jarnail Singh and Tilak Nagar MLA Jarnail Singh.

As per the notice, the 21 AAP legislators in question, who were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries almost a year ago, must file their replies before the ECI by April 11.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had appointed 21 members of the Delhi Legislature Assembly as Parliamentary Secretaries to Ministers for “smooth functioning” of the government on March 14, 2015.

The orders were accompanied by a statement from the AAP government saying the Parliamentary Secretaries would “not be eligible to any remuneration or perks of any kind.”

This, the government had stated, meant there would be “no additional burden on the exchequer.

However, they may use government transport for official purposes and office space in the Minister’s office will be provided to them to facilitate their work.”

The MLAs, appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries almost a year ago, must file replies by April 11

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 11:26:40 PM |

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