The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear a PIL challenging the decision of the AAP government to appoint 21 MLAs as “parliamentary secretaries” in the Delhi Assembly.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had appointed 21 MLAs as “parliamentary secretaries”. They were administered the oath of office by the Chief Minster on March 13.
The PIL, filed by NGO Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, has alleged that the appointment of these secretaries was “in gross violation of Article 239AA of the Constitution of India as well as the laws governing the manner in which the government is run in Delhi”.
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The PIL was scheduled to be heard before the court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw on Wednesday but has now been adjourned to May 20 as the Delhi High Court lawyers were on strike and no one had appeared for the government.
The NGO in its PIL has alleged that the Delhi government did not have the power to appoint parliamentary secretaries” as it would “constitute an additional rung of hierarchy” in the council of ministers, violating the Constitutional and legal principles. The PIL has also raised the issue of whether the government could have appointed MLAs as parliamentary secretaries through an executive order and without the proper authorisation from the Delhi Lt-Governor.
The PIL further alleges that no prior sanction was taken from the Finance department regarding the expenditure to be incurred on these appointments.
Another issue raised by the PIL is whether the CM had “usurped” powers to create an “unconstitutional” class in the council of ministers, as the Delhi Cabinet cannot have more than seven members which is 10 per cent of the House strength.
The PIL has sought court orders to set aside the AAP government’s decision and to restrain the 21 MLAs appointed as “parliamentary secretaries “ from taking any action on their positions.