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Setback for AAP, Delhi HC revokes appointment of 21 MLAs

In a big blow for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court on Thursday revoked the Aam Aadmi Party government’s order to appoint 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries.

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The AAP had appointed the Parliament Secretaries to assist its ministers in the National capital.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal pronounced the judgement after the Delhi Government’s counsel accepted that the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Amendment) Bill- 2015, was passed without the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor.

The Election Commission will now decide whether to continue hearing a petition asking for the disqualification of the legislators.

AAP’s submission came after the high court said last month that the Lieutenant Governor is the administrative head of Delhi and the state government has to consult him on all decisions.

Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, who appeared for the Delhi government, referred to the August 04 judgement passed by the High Court which had quashed several notifications issued by the AAP government on the ground that they were issued without taking concurrence of the LG.

“Today I have to concede that the judgement (of August 4) stands against me (Delhi government),” Nandrajog told the bench.

Taking into consideration the submissions advanced by the Delhi government, the bench said, “the impugned order of the GNCTD is set aside”.

During the brief hearing, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain told the bench that the Election Commission was also seized of the matter pertaining to the appointment of 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries.

In its August 04 judgement, the High Court had held that Delhi was a Union Territory and LG remained its administrative head.

In June, President Pranab Mukherjee refused to sign off on a law that would have validated the second job for the AAP legislators. The law to exclude parliamentary secretaries from “office of profit” was passed in the Delhi assembly, where AAP has 67 of 70 members.

After the president returned the bill, petitions asking for the disqualification of the lawmakers were made to the Election Commission, which is expected to announce a decision soon.

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