In a major setback to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, President Pranab Mukjerhjee on Monday refused assent to a Delhi government Bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the office of profit.
The refusal puts a question mark over the membership of 21 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, who have been appointed Parliamentary Secretaries by the Arvind Kejriwal government.
Petitions have been filed with the President seeking disqualification of the these MLAs on the ground that they occupied office of profit in violation of Constitution.
Acting as a quasi judicial body, the Election Commission to whom the President referred the issue has sought replies of the MLAs.
Meanwhile, 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.
However, the President did not give his assent to the Bill, official sources said.
On March 13, 2015, Kejriwal had passed an order appointing the 21 party MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries.
Subsequently, the AAP government had sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997.