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EC to hear case against AAP MLAs on July 14

The Election Commission will hold a personal hearing from July 14 for 21 AAP MLAs, who have been made parliamentary secretaries and are facing the risk of disqualification from the Assembly, in the Office of Profit case.

EC to hear case against AAP MLAs on July 14
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Election Commission of India

New Delhi

The 21 AAP MLAs 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 Parliamentary Secretary is a ‘post’ without any remuneration or power.

AAP had appointed 21 parliamentary secretaries to assist the Delhi government ministers. Thereafter, the government sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997.

Through the Bill, which has been forwarded to the Centre by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, AAP wants ‘retrospective’ exemption for the parliamentary secretaries from disqualification provisions. 

The EC, which is examining the issue, has taken ‘cognisance’ of the President’s decision against signing a Delhi government’s bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the ambit office of profit. 

With the President refusing assent to the bill early this month, the 21 ruling party MLAs at present have no legal backing for holding the post of Parliamentary Secretaries.

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