New Delhi, Sep 8: In a fresh jolt to the Arvind Kejriwal government, Delhi High Court today set aside its order appointing 21 AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries on the ground that it was issued without the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor (LG). The order came around a month after the high court on August 4 held that the LG was the administrative head of the union territory of Delhi and his concurrence was “mandatory” in administrative issues. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal set aside the March 13, 2015 order after the counsel appearing for the Delhi government “conceded” that it was issued without taking concurrence or views of the LG.
Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, appearing for the Delhi government, referred to the August 4 verdict and said, “Today, I have to concede that the judgement stands against me (Delhi government).” He said that the March 13, 2015 order, appointing 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries, was issued without taking the concurrence or view of the LG. Taking note of the submissions, the bench said, “it has been conceded by the GNCTD that order dated March 13, 2015 was issued without seeking concurrence/view of the LG. The impugned order of the GNCTD is set aside following the ratio laid down (in the August 4 verdict).”(ALSO READ: Fresh Trouble for Arvind Kejriwal in Punjab: Former member Amandeep Kaur says 52 women sexually assaulted by AAP leaders)
The high court had passed the August 4 verdict on a batch of petitions arising out of the tussle between the Centre and the AAP government over LG’s administrative powers on governance of the national capital. During the hearing today, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain told the bench that the Election Commission was also seized of the matter pertaining to appointment of these legislators as parliamentary secretaries.
The court’s order came on a petition by an NGO, Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, seeking quashing of the order. The Election Commission had on August 29 reserved its order on a plea by 21 AAP legislators, who had questioned the maintainability of a petition seeking their disqualification for holding the post of parliamentary secretaries which was alleged to be an office of profit.