In year 2016, Delhi based lawyer Vibhor Anand discovered that some AAP MLAs were appointed Chairpersons of Rogi Kalyan Samitis (RKSs) of various government hospitals in Delhi, which he found as an instance of holding office of profit because the post was not exempted via any notification by the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi).
He made a list of 27 such MLAs and filed a complaint with the Election Commission. Not only he complained about them holding posts amounting to office of profit, he further argued that the appointment of the MLAs as Chairpersons of RKSs itself was illegal, as rules allowed an MLA only to be a member of the governing committee, not Chairperson.
Following his complaint, the Election Commission issued notices to the MLAs asking them to explain their position. Some of these MLAs replied that they had been issued the notices erroneously, following which the commission asked Vibhor to file an amended affidavit with correct list of the MLAs.
While one may think that the number of such MLAs could be less and Vibhor made a longer list by mistake, further investigations by the young lawyer threw surprising results. Not only he discovered that the total number of MLAs holding post of Chairpersons of RKS of hospitals was one more i.e. 28, there were 11 more MLAs who were appointed as the Chairpersons of the District Rogi Kalyan Samiti. Out of these 11, 2 MLAs were appointed both as Chairperson of RKSs of hospitals as well as of District RKSs.
This fact ironically came to the knowledge of Vibhor after seeking information from the Delhi government itself, and he realised that the total number of MLAs holding office of profit was not 27 as he originally thought, but 37.
While he was collecting information about appointment and functioning of these MLAs as Chairpersons of hospital RKSs or district RKSs, 20 MLAs of AAP were disqualified in another office of profit case. Out of these 20, 14 were common with the list of 37 MLAs Vibhor has prepared. Two other MLAs resigned, which had led to bypolls in Rajouri Garden and Bawana in Delhi. Therefore currently, there are 21 AAP MLAs more who are holding office of profit, if Vibhor’s claims are to be believed.
If these 21 MLAs too are disqualified, the total number of AAP MLAs in Delhi assembly will get reduced to 25, and strength of Delhi assembly will fall below the half-way mark, which could trigger a constitutional crisis. Vibhor believes that the current case is similar to the case in which 20 MLAs were disqualified, and thus these remaining 21 should also be disqualified.
Out of these 21 MLAs, 10 MLAs have already been served notice due to Vibhor’s original complaint. Earlier this week, on 15th February, Vibhor sent a petition to the President of India apprising him of he situation and requesting him to direct the Election Commission to send notice to 11 remaining ones.
Not only Vibhor is seeking disqualification of these 21 MLAs, he insists that the 37 MLAs who were appointed Chairpersons in RKSs were also involved in corruption. He plans to file a PIL in the Delhi High Court soon seeking action against them.
Vibhor had earlier decided not to pursue this case as he claimed physical assault and threats by an AAP supported goon, but later decided not to give up after receiving assurances from the Delhi police.