New Delhi: In a setback for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Election Commission (EC) on Saturday dismissed its petition and said that proceedings on the question of disqualification of the members in a case of them allegedly holding office of profit will continue.
Separately, the commission also disqualified Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra for three years. Mishra was under scrutiny of the EC for paid news in the 2008 Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. A complaint was filed against him on account of his election expenses.
“In view of the examination of the facts and evidence on record and the analysis of the decisions rendered by the Supreme Court, the Election Commission concludes that the respondent had given his implied authorization for the publication of the advertisements in question and had knowingly taken advantage of the same," the commission said in its order.
In the case of the appointment of parliamentary secretaries and them allegedly holding an office of profit, EC had earlier issued notice to 21 Delhi MLAs.
“The Commission is, thus, of the considered opinion that the respondents did hold de facto the office of Parliamentary Secretaries from 13th March 2015 to 08th September 2016 and the interpretation as sought to be put by them on the order dated 08th September 2016 of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court that they did not hold any office is not legally tenable," the commission said in its order.
The AAP government had appointed 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries in March 2015 to include MLAs in governance work and also to assist cabinet ministers in effective implementation of manifesto promises. Since then, Jarnail Singh, one of the 21 MLAs has resigned from his position.