The Election Commission (EC) has asked the Delhi government to submit the details of the facilities being provided to the Parliamentary secretaries. The EC is preparing to hear the 21 AAP MLAs appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries on a plea for disqualifying them for holding office of profit.
The EC in a letter to the Delhi government has sought details of the facilities being provided to them including phones and support staff, if any and their nature of work as Parliamentary Secretary.
The response of the government will help the Commission formulate an opinion before the process of giving them personal hearing from 14 July.
The 21 members of the Assembly had sought a personal hearing after a lawyer petitioned the Commission for their disqualification on the ground that MLAs are not allowed to hold an office of profit.
The MLAs have maintained that the post of Parliamentary Secretary in Delhi does not come with any remuneration or trappings of power.
In March last, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had appointed the 21 MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries to assist ministers of the Delhi government.
The AAP government then sought to get this legal sanction with retrospective effect by amending the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997.
The bill, passed by the Assembly in June last year, was forwarded to the Centre, but President Pranab Mukherjee declined to sign it. The Election Commission has taken note of the President’s stand.