Parliamentary secretaries: HC set aside Delhi government’s order

New Delhi: The Delhi high court set aside the Delhi government’s order appointing 21 AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries stating that it was made without the lieutenant governor (L-G)’s approval.

The AAP-led Delhi government has already conceded that the appointment became invalid in light of the court’s August 4 verdict that declared the L-G as the administrative head of the national capital region.

Chief justice G Rohini and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, which challenged the appointments, claiming it was “unconstitutional, illegal and without jurisdiction”. The petition also stated the chief minister had “no power, jurisdiction or authority” to administer the oath of office to parliamentary secretaries.

The Delhi government had appointed the parliamentary secretaries in February 2015. However, a constitutional clause prohibits legislators or parliamentarians from holding any position with monetary or other benefits.

 Earlier, in view of this constitutional position, President Pranab Mukharjee refused to sign the bill that ratified the appointments

The Delhi government argued that the appointments will facilitate a smooth functioning. It also clarified that the secretaries would not receive any remuneration from the government.

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