Here are AAP’s defenses in Office of Profit matter, and why they are not logical

The Aam Aadmi Party is set to suffer a big jolt as the Election Commission (EC) has recommended the disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. The news came in today on 19th January. The EC has sent its recommendation to the president regarding the disqualification of the said MLAs. If the President clears it, the number of MLAs of Aam Aadmi Party will reduce to 47 from its current 67. One MLA from the original 21 “escaped” since he had already resigned, to contest elections from Punjab.

Expectedly, AAP has brought forth various arguments to defend itself, but they do not seem valid. Firstly, we need to look at the cold facts and the timeline:

19th June 2015: Advocate Prashant Patel files a petition before the President of India to disqualify the 21 MLAs on grounds that the post of “parliamentary secretaries” was an “office of profit” and the MLAs could not hold such office.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

23rd June 2015: Fearing disqualification of its 21 MLAs because of the above illegality, the AAP government passed a bill to give exemption to these secretaries from disqualification with retrospective effect.

June 2016: The President rejects the above bill of the Delhi government.

From the above itself, AAP’s guilt is confirmed. The AAP Government brought in the retrospective amendment, precisely because they realised that they had been caught off guard. The amendment was brought in hurriedly, just 4 days after the case was filed.

The Excuses

Inspite of this, AAP has been brazening it out. One of the arguments put forth by AAP is that since the High Court had set aside the order appointing 21 MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries, the posts never existed and hence there was no question of EC disqualifying the MLAs. They fail to understand that the High Court found their appointment in violation of the law, and that does not mean the appointment never happened. Sources in the EC also held that since the High Court judgment did not explicitly say that the appointments were void ab initio, the EC had to look into the matter.

Also, the grounds which the High Court went into are totally different. The court order had come after the AAP government itself conceded that since the order was passed without the approval of the LG, it went against the August 4 order of the High Court holding the LG’s approval to be mandatory. Thus the High Court had set aside the appointment because the Government had not taken the LG’s approval. This has nothing to do with the “office of profit” matter.

“Not an Office of Profit at all”

AAP has also claimed that there were no benefits accruing to these parliamentary secretaries hence it was not an “office of profit”. However, the official circular said they may use vehicles and space for official purposes. AAP on its part again claims that they had only planned to give these benefits, which were eventually not given. Again, documents from an RTI application showed that the 21 MLAs who held the posts were allotted rooms as office space by the Speaker.

Advocate Prashant Patel, the petitioner, added that generally, “profit” is interpreted to mean monetary gain but benefits other than monetary gain may also come within its meaning. He also said that by accepting the position of Parliamentary Secretary which certainly has some position, prestige or patronage attached to it, these legislators have become an inseparable and an integral part of the Executive and the dividing line between Legislature and the Government has been completely obliterated.

“Insufficient time”

Now, sources say AAP is claiming that they were not heard properly by the EC. Nothing can be further from the truth. A case which began in Mid 2015 has ended in 2018. That itself is substantial time. Plus, the facts show that AAP actually got more time than normal. The original deadline seeking response from the AAP MLAs was October 7 2016. This was extended by another 10 days as some AAP MLAs had failed to file replies. AAP MLA Alka Lamba, had said that she could not submit her reply due to “faulty pen drives” given by the EC and unavailability of lawyers on account of holidays last week.

More recently, in November 2017, the EC had given one last chance to the MLAs to submit their response. The EC had initially served a notice to the 20 AAP MLAs on September 28 seeking their written submissions, but many of their replies did not address the central issue and ended up raising other queries, hence they were given one last opportunity. Advocate Patel had called this as “delaying tactics”.

AAP to move High Court?

It appears that AAP has now decided to move High Court against this decision of the EC. This was probably inevitable since disqualification of 20 MLAs would mean a mini-election which could turn up some very interesting results. AAP’s stock is quite low recently, with its debacle in Goa and Punjab, and more recently, Kumar Vishwas’s open rebellion against AAP’s “compromised” Rajya Sabha candidates. Will Kejriwal once again roar back to abuse the EC for this decision? Only time will tell.


Share This Post and Support:
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Most read articles recently

West Bengal: Ex-IPS officer commits suicide, leaves note saying Mamata Banerjee victimised him for 10 years

Citing his alleged harassment and suffering as the reason, Dutt has written, "I decided to take the drastic step to highlight genuine problems faced by honest officers in West Bengal, and other parts of India."
As Pakistan panics over possible action from India, India takes careful and calculated steps

Pakistan Army begins preparing for war, speculations rife in Kashmir over late night movements

PM Modi had stated earlier that not only India will take all necessary steps to isolate Pakistan internationally, but it has also instructed the security forces to plan and execute retaliatory action.
Non-bailable warrant issued against Arnab Goswami by Srinagar Court

‘Our journalism won’t be impeded’: Non-bailable warrant issued against Arnab Goswami by Srinagar court in defamation case filed by PDP MLA

Srinagar District Magistrate Court has issued a non-bailable warrant against Republic TV chief, Arnab Goswami in a defamation case filed by PDP MLA Naeem Akhtar.

This is why Neena Gupta wants no one to wish Pritish Nandy even a Happy Birthday

Pritish Nandy 'stole' Masaba's birth certificate and printed in his magazine without Neena Gupta's permission

Congress deletes video where Rahul Gandhi was seen dancing shortly after the Pulwama attack

After Congress' lies against the Prime Minister were exposed, Congress proceeded to delete the tweet where Rahul Gandhi was seen dancing after the Pulwama terror attack.
Pakistan's government acts as a subordinate of its military and Islamic fundamentalists

It appears Pakistan is scared of India: Masood Azhar’s veiled threat to Imran Khan against any govt action

Masood Azhar said in his weekly address, ''Pakistan's response to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's threats post Pulwama was rather lukewarm and lacklustre. It appears Pakistan is scared of India.''
Image Source: Twitter

Fearing India’s retaliation, Pakistan cancels leaves of its troops, uses flares to light up night sky to see movement of Indian troops

Pakistani administration has asked people to stay in underground bunkers, which could protect them from shelling or any form of attacks which could come from the other side of the border.

Pakistanis get scared about attack by India after seeing their own Air Force fighter jets flying over civilian areas

Several people posted on social media that India has dropped bombs over Sialkot in Pakistan

Fact Check: Was PM Narendra Modi doing a photoshoot in Uttarakhand after the Pulwama terror attack?

PM Modi had completed before his forest visit in Corbett National Park before the Pulwama attack
Foreign trips and MoUs signed: Read how 5 years of Modi trumps 10 years of Manmohan Singh

Foreign trips and MoUs signed: Read how 5 years of Modi trumps 10 years of Manmohan Singh

In terms of signing international deals and MoU, PM Narendra Modi has delivered 322% more than PM Manmohan Singh at only 18% additional costs

Latest articles

Connect with us

138,953FansLike
111,613FollowersFollow
23,654SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these