AAP MLAs moved Delhi High Court against Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify them for allegedly holding offices of profit.
The pleas by seven MLAs was mentioned before a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal for urgent hearing, which was listed for today itself, PTI reported.
The Election Commission on Friday decided to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for allegedly holding offices of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries. The poll panel has has sent its recommendation to the President for his assent.
The entire issue came into existence when on 13 March, 2015, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government passed an order appointing 21 MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries, according to News18.
File image of Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti. Image courtesy: Election Commission website
The issue in front of the Election Commission was whether the office of Parliamentary Secretary in the GNCTD, 1991 constitutes an ‘ office of profit’. Article 191 of the Constitution has not defined what is an ‘ office of profit’ which has paved the way to the Courts to lay down the law
Subsequently, the Congress had on 9 June, 2016, moved the poll panel to seek disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs and has been pursing the matter ever since.
However, the proceedings were dropped against Jarnail Singh after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly polls in February 2017.
In October last year, the EC had issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers for an explanation.
In June 2017, the EC rejected the MLAs pleas to drop the "office of profit" case against them and ruled that the disqualification proceedings against them will continue.
In March 2015, the AAP government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, to exempt the posts of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect.
However, then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent, following which the appointments were set aside by the Delhi High Court in September 2016, which declared them illegal since the order had been passed "without concurrence/approval of the Lt Governor".
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jan 22, 2018 17:26 PM