In fresh trouble for ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, the Election Commission today issued show cause notice to its 27 MLAs on a fresh petition seeking their disqualification for allegedly holding office of profit. The petition filed in June, and forwarded to the Commission by Rashtrapati Bhawan last month, 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.
Sources in the Commission confirmed that notices have been issued. The MLAs have been asked to file their responses by November 11. The petitioner has 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.
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. 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 National Rural Health Mission website clearly states that an MP/ MLA can become a chairman/ member, the Delhi government sources said.