Friday, February 23, 2018
facebook

google plus
Nation

Posted at: Feb 13, 2018, 8:38 PM; last updated: Feb 13, 2018, 8:38 PM (IST)

Why were the offices set up: HC asks disqualified AAP MLAs

New Delhi, February 13

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked 20 disqualified Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs why they had been given offices when they were appointed as parliamentary secretaries.

A Bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar said the offices meant that the lawmakers were given administrative functions of the ministries to which they were assigned. 

"Why were offices set up for you (disqualified AAP MLAs)? What were you getting from that? Normally if you are given an office means you will come and sit. You will also use the infrastructure. You are sitting there, (which) virtually means you are overlooking the affairs and functioning of the ministry," the Bench orally observed.

The court's observation came during the hearing of the 20 AAP legislators' pleas challenging their disqualification for holding offices of profit. The lawmakers have claimed that they recieved no monetary benefit, perks or remuneration from their office. 

The arguments on behalf of the MLAs, which remained inconclusive, will resume February 15.

During the nearly three-hour-long hearing of the legislators' petitions, senior advocate K.V. Viswanathan, appearing for some of the MLAs, submitted that the Election Commission (EC) did not consider the aspect of what benefits they had derived while ruling that they held offices of profit.

The advocate said that no pecuniary benefit was received by the MLAs, while appointed as parliamentary secretaries.

On Monday, the MLAs had claimed that they were held guilty of holding office of profit by the EC without giving them an opportunity to explain their stand.

"Even a temporary government employee cannot be removed on the grounds of misconduct without holding a full-fledged inquiry. However, in the present case, the members of the legislative assembly were removed without holding a full-fledged inquiry and without giving them any opportunity to explain if they ever held any office of profit," the MLAs had submitted.

The high court had on January 24 refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying the MLAs, but restrained the EC from taking any "precipitate measures" such as announcing dates for by polls to fill the vacancies.

The EC had recommended the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs on January 19. The President had accepted the EC's opinion the very next day.

The 20 disqualified MLAs include Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh) —who is also a minister—Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura).

The others are Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), Sukhbir Singh (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).

The Delhi High Court had on September 8, 2016, set aside their appointment as parliamentary secretaries on the grounds that they were appointed without the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor. PTI

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On