New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Election Commission seeking its response on pleas filed by some AAP MLAs against the poll panel’s decision to continue disqualification case proceedings against 20 party lawmakers for allegedly holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.
Justice Indermeet Kaur asked the Election Commission to file its reply on pleas filed by 12 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and posted the matter for November 21.
The MLAs contended that there was no need for the Election Commission to continue hearing in the matter after the Delhi High Court quashed the appointments of 21 AAP MLAs in September last year.
Of these 21 legislators, Jarnail Singh had resigned from Rajouri Garden in January to contest the Punjab Assembly elections.
The court on August 4 had issued a similar order on plea of eight other AAP MLAs challenging the same decision of poll panel.
On June 23, the EC had rejected their pleas to drop the “office of profit” case against them and ruled that the disqualification case 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 post of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect.
However, then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give his assent to it, following which the appointments were set aside by the Delhi High Court in September 2016, which declared them illegal, as the order had been passed “without concurrence/approval of the Lt. Governor”.
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