Office of Profit case: Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party on Monday said that Election Commission notice quashing its plea in the office of profit case shouldn’t be misinterpreted. Responding to the EC notification, Aam Admi Party said “there is no question of hearing a petition on an office that never existed,” adding, that “all remedies are available to challenge the order of EC (original Tweet embedded below).” Earlier in the day, EC trashed the plea of 21 AAP MLAs urging the top poll body to drop office of profit case against them. The notification came as a big setback for a Kejriwal-led party as it puts in limbo the future of all 21 lawmakers. In its order, EC said that the Commission was of the “considered opinion” that the AAP MLAs did hold “de facto the office of parliamentary secretaries from March 13, 2015, to September 8, 2016”. The order comes days before Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi is scheduled to retire from his duties. The report further says that Election Commissioner OP Rawat, who was questioned by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over impartiality, has not signed on the order.
The hearing in controversial issue was concluded on 27th March earlier this year, since then, the EC had reserved its order in the matter. The issue came to light after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appointed 21 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries in March 2015, amending the provisions of Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June same year.
AAP’s statement on Election Commission’s recent order on 21 Parliamentary secretaries: pic.twitter.com/fxLdNUZrJ6
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) June 24, 2017
The amendment exempted the post of parliamentary secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect. The 21 AAP MLA are facing prospects of disqualification in the order expected in the coming days. In the same matter, AAP MLAs had filed a plea in EC, demanding the dropping of the case in entirety.