President Pranab Mukherjee has forwarded to the Election Commission a fresh petition against 27 AAP MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit, a move that may see the party defending another set of its lawmakers in protracted legal battle. Sources in the Commission confirmed that the petition filed by law student, Vibhor Anand, before the President has reached the poll panel. They said forwarding of the complaint to the Commission is part of the procedure and now it will be examined by the poll body. The petition filed in June had sought cancellation of membership of 27 AAP MLAs over the office of profit issue. The 27 MLAs include seven legislators against whom the EC is already considering a similar plea for holding the office of parliamentary secretaries. The list also includes Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, his deputy Rakhi Birla, former deputy speaker Bandana Kumari and estranged AAP MLA and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Pankaj Pushkar. The petitioner had claimed that these MLAs hold posts of chairpersons of Rogi Kalyan Samitis (RKSs) of different government hospitals in Delhi without any sanctity of law. "The Delhi government in 2009 through its executive/ standing orders approved constituting Rogi Kalyan Samitis in all the hospitals with governing body under the chairmanship of local MLA in violating the mandate of scheme. "The order of appointing MLAs either by the present government or by the earlier government, as chairperson of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti is wholly illegal and void ab initio, without any legal sanctity," the complaint had said. But sources in the Delhi government said Rogi Kalyan Samitis were set up by the Sheila Dikshit Cabinet on October 5, 2009 and the complaint will fall flat in due course of time. Senior AAP leader Ashutosh said the Opposition is raking up the issue only to derail the initiatives undertaken by the Health department. In July 2014, the then Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had in Parliament said that MPs/ MLAs will be the chairpersons of the committees. The NHRM (National Rural Health Mission) website clearly states that an MP/ MLA can become a chairman/ member.
The 2009 Cabinet decision headed by Dikshit also backs this, he said.
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