Defending 21 MLAs, Kejriwal flays PM Modi citing U’khand verdict

, 4:54 PM IST

New Delhi : Hours after the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it would revoke President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said he hopes Prime Minister Narendra Modi learns a lesson from the developments in the hill state and not do similar misadventure in Delhi.

“Hope Modi ji will learn a lesson from Uttarakhand and not do similar misadventure in Delhi by disqualifying our 21 MLAs,” he said in a tweet.

Kejriwal’s reaction comes a day after 21 AAP legislators, who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the AAP Government last year, filed their replies to the Election Commission in response to a show-cause notice on why they should not be disqualified for occupying offices of profit in violation of the Constitution.

The notice, which demanded their response on why they should not be disqualified, was issued on the basis of a petition filed by Delhi-based advocate Prashant Patel.

The petition alleged that the said MLAs occupied offices of profit in violation of the Constitution of India.

The High Court has asked the Delhi Government to reply to its notice by July 1, when the court hears the case next. But it has not stayed the appointments.

An organisation called the Rashtriya Mukti Morcha has petitioned the Delhi High Court, contending that these 21 legislators enjoy the status and perks of ministers including office space and official cars, which is misuse of the taxpayer’s money.

The PIL alleges that these appointments are “unconstitutional, illegal and without jurisdiction” and should be cancelled, pointing the Delhi Government can have a maximum of seven ministers. It contends that along with seven ministers in Kejriwal’s Cabinet, these 21 people with minister status far exceed that limit.

When the Parliamentary Secretaries were appointed, the AAP Government had said that they would facilitate smooth government functioning, but made it clear they would not receive any remuneration or perk of any kind that would mean an extra burden on the exchequer.

The order, however, permits them to use government transport for official purposes and has earmarked space in the ministers’ offices to help them in official work.

The petition argues that the Chief Minister has “no power, jurisdiction or authority” to administer oath of office to the Parliamentary Secretaries.

A petition has alleged that 21 legislators occupied offices of profit in violation of the Constitution. (ANI)