The Election Commission has issued a show-cause notice to 21 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in response to a petition, which alleged that the legislators had occupied offices of profit in violation of the Constitution.
All of the 21 MLAs were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries by the Delhi government last year.
According to a report in The Hindu, the notice sought their response on why they should not be disqualified.
The EC issued the notice after Delhi-based advocate Prashant Patel filed petition against them.
Quoting party sources, the paper reported that the petition quoted significantly from a judgment of Calcutta High Court, which, on 2 June, 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.”
AAP has denied allegations saying that no such violations ever took place.
Deepak Bajpai said, “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.”
Among those who were appointed parliamentary secretaries include Alka Lamba, Sarita Singh, Adarsh Shastri and Jarnail Singh.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had appointed them to ensure ‘smooth functioning’ of the government.
These MLAs are required to file their reply by 11 April.