President Rejects Delhi’s Dual Office Bill, 21 AAP MLAs May Face Disqualification

In a jolt to Delhi’s ruling AAP government, President Pranab Mukherjee has refused to give assent to a legislation that protects 21 party MLAs, who have been appointed Parliamentary Secretaries, and face the prospect of disqualification. Petitions have been filed with the President seeking disqualification of these MLAs on the ground that they occupied office of profit violating constitutional provisions. Acting as a quasi judicial body, the Election Commission to whom the President referred the issue, had sought replies of the MLAs. The Delhi Government had sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997.Through the Bill, the AAP government wanted “retrospective” exemption for the parliamentary secretaries from disqualification provisions. The Bill was forwarded by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to the Centre, which in turn was sent to the President with its comments. After examining the issue, the President has not given his assent to the Bill, official sources said today. On March 13, 2015, Kejriwal had passed an order appointing the 21 party MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries.

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