Election Commission to examine Delhi HC verdict in Parliamentary Secretaries case

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The Election Commission on Thursday said it will examine the verdict of the Delhi High Court setting aside an order appointing 21 AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries to ascertain whether it will have an impact on a case being heard by it seeking the disqualification of the lawmakers for allegedly holding office of profit.

“We will have to study whether the high court order has been issued on a retrospective basis. Only then can the commission decide whether it will have an impact on the ongoing cases of disqualification against the MLAs,” a senior functionary said.

But one view in the commission is that the proceedings in the Delhi High Court and the EC are on different issues — the first dealing with appointment of MLAs as parliamentary secretaries and other seeking their disqualification for allegedly holding office of profit.

Experts said in that case, the high court verdict will have no impact on the case being heard by the EC. But the commission is yet to take a call on it. The high court order came around a month after it held that the LG was the administrative head of the Union Territory of Delhi and his concurrence was “mandatory” in administrative issues.

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

Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, appearing for the Delhi government, referred to the August 4 verdict and said, “Today, I have to concede that the judgement stands against me (the Delhi government).” He said that the March 13, 2015 order, appointing 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries, was issued without taking the concurrence or view of the LG.

The Election Commission had on August 29 reserved its order on a plea by 21 AAP legislators, who had questioned the maintainability of a petition seeking their disqualification for holding the post of parliamentary secretaries which was alleged to be an office of profit.

(With PTI inputs)

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