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Delhi high court quashes appointment of 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had made the appointment of 21 AAP members of legislative assembly (MLAs) as parliamentary secretaries to assist its ministers in the national capital, in March last year. Photograph: (AFP)

WION New Delhi, India Sep 08, 2016, 01.15 PM (IST)
The Delhi High Court today quashed the appointment of 21 members of the capital's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as parliament secretaries. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal passed the court order today cancelling the appointment.

The Delhi government's counsel conceded that the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Amendment) Bill - 2015, was passed without the approval of the lieutenant governor. An August 4 verdict by the high court had declared that the lieutenant governor was the administrative head of the national capital region.

"The Delhi government conceded their mistake and the HC acknowledging their mistake, set aside their appointment order," Ravindra Kumar, counsel for Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, told ANI.
 

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had made the appointment of 21 AAP members of legislative assembly (MLAs) as parliamentary secretaries to assist its ministers in the national capital, in March last year.

The court, on 13 July, had deferred the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, a non-governmental organisation. The PIL filed in May 2015, challenged Kejriwal's decision saying it was 'unconstitutional, illegal and without jurisdiction'. There were arguments that the legislators would use government transport and use office space.

In June, President Mukherjee had refused to sign a bill that allowed the AAP MLA's to hold a second office of profit. AAP had defended their decision saying that the new positions did not amount to creating an office of profit. The Delhi government had tried to amend the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of the Disqualification) Act, 1997, to save the appointments from being disqualified for holding two offices of profit simultaneously.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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