The Election Commission will hold a personal hearing from 14 July for 21 AAP MLAs, who were made parliamentary secretaries and are now facing the risk of disqualification from the Assembly, in the Office of Profit case.
The 21 AAP MLAs, as reported by PTI, had sought a personal hearing before the poll body in their reply to a notice by the Election Commission last month. The petition for their disqualification was made over their appointment as parliamentary secretaries, by lawyer Prashant Patel.
Maintaining that there was no “pecuniary benefit” associated with the post, the MLAs, in their response to the poll body, also said that that parliamentary secretary is a “post” without any remuneration or power.
President Pranab Mukherjee has already rejected the amendment by the Delhi government to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 prompting speculations that the MLAs in question may face disqualification.
The Delhi government’s had appointed 21 AAP legislators as “parliamentary secretaries to ministers” last year. This decision had caused considerable controversy as the opposition criticised the move with both the BJP and the Congress had termed these appointments as grossly illegal.
Those whose membership could be in danger include are Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, and Jarnail Singh.
As parliamentary secretaries, these MLAs are not entitled entitled to any additional salary, but 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.”