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Why were the offices set up: HC asks disqualified AAP MLAs

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

"Why were the offices set up", the High Court today asked the disqualified (AAP) MLAs, who claimed they had not received any monetary benefit, perks or remuneration including official vehicles, in their capacity as parliamentary secretaries.

A bench comprising of Justices and said if offices were set up, it means the MLAs were overlooking the administrative functions of the ministries where they were posted.

"Why were offices set up for you (disqualified AAP MLAs)? What were you getting from that. Normally if you are given an office means you will come and sit. You will also use the infrastructure. You are sitting there, (which) virtually means you are overlooking the affairs and functioning of the ministry," the bench orally observed.

The court's observation came during the hearing of the 20 AAP legislators' pleas challenging their disqualification for holding offices of profit.

The arguments on behalf of the MLAs, which remained inconclusive, will resume February 15.

During the nearly three-hour-long hearing of the legislators' petitions, senior K V Viswanathan, appearing for some of the MLAs, submitted that the (EC) did not consider the aspect of what benefits they had derived while ruling that they held offices of profit.

The said that no pecuniary benefit was received by the MLAs, while appointed as parliamentary secretaries.

Yesterday, the MLAs had claimed that they were held guilty of holding office of profit by the EC without giving them an opportunity to explain their stand.

"Even a temporary government employee cannot be removed on the grounds of misconduct without holding a full-fledged inquiry. However, in the present case, the members of the legislative assembly were removed without holding a full-fledged inquiry and without giving them any opportunity to explain if they ever held any office of profit," the MLAs had submitted.

The high court had on January 24 refused to stay the Centre's notification disqualifying the MLAs, but restrained the EC from taking any "precipitate measures" such as announcing dates for by polls to fill the vacancies.

The EC had recommended the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs on January 19. The had accepted the EC's opinion the very next day.

The 20 disqualified MLAs include (Dwarka), (Chandni Chowk), (Gandhi Nagar), (Kalkaji), (Najafgarh) -- who is also a -- Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), (Laxmi Nagar),

The others are Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).

The High Court had on September 8, 2016, set aside their appointment as parliamentary secretaries on the grounds that they were appointed without the concurrence of the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 19:40 IST
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