The Election Commission of India is reportedly preparing to call 21 MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for a hearing against a complaint of occupying the posts ‘unconstitutionally’.
According to a report by DNA, the hearing may happen soon since the President rejected the amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 passed by the Delhi Assembly.
The EC sought their replies after a Delhi lawyer Prashant Patel sent a petition to the President’s office asking him to take action against the creation of 21 “unconstitutional” posts by the Delhi government.
The plea further questioned the MLAs on why they should not be disqualified.
Several AAP parliamentary secretaries had told the Election Commission in early May that their post was similar to an 'intern', or a 'volunteer assistant' attached to a Cabinet minister, according to Economic Times. They also asserted that they were not provided with any office space or office support systems.
In March, the EC had issued a show-cause notice to these AAP legislators.
The Bill rejected by the President sought to exempt MLAs appointed as parliamentary secretaries from the purview of office of profit criteria.
It remains to be seen if the EC will declare the 21 MLAs as disqualified or not. In such a scenario, Delhi will head towards an immediate election for 21 seats.