Hearings Speed Up In 21 AAP MLAs Issue, Next Hearing On November 22

The Election Commission has sped up the hearings in the case of 21 MLAs of AAP holding ‘office of profit’ illegitimately as parliamentary secretaries.  As per this news report :

‘The Election Commission on Wednesday fixed November 22 as the next date of hearing of the final arguments on a petition seeking disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit.

On September 8, the Delhi High Court had set aside the appointment of 21 party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. The court had said the order to appoint them as parliamentary secretaries was given without the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor. The AAP MLAs said in the hearing yesterday that since the decision to appoint them as parliamentary secretaries has been set aside, they could not be disqualified for holding the office which they no longer enjoy.

But the petitioner, Prashant Patel, insisted that the court order should have no bearing on the case being heard by the EC as they were enjoying the fruits of that office till their appointment was set aside by the high court. He argued that disqualification was necessary as the office of parliamentary secretary comes under the ambit of office of profit law.’

This petition seeking disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs, was filed before the President on 19th June 2015, by a young advocate Prashant Patel. We spoke to Prashant on the issue of ‘office of profit’ and he replied :
‘Profit’ usually connotes any advantages, benefit or useful consequences. Generally, it is interpreted to mean monetary gain but  benefits other than monetary gain may also come within its meaning. “office of profit” is one to which some power to patronage is attached or in which the holder is entitled to exercise the executive functions, or which carries dignity or prestige to the position holder thereof.

The position of Parliamentary Secretary in Delhi falls in the ‘office of profit’ category. MLAs appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries are certainly in a more advantageous or beneficial position in comparison to other members. 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 Government has been completely obliterated.

Prashant asserts that he has no affiliation to any political party and works keeping only the nationalistic & dharmic causes in mind. His major activities include – case against film ‘PK’ for being anti-Hindu and links with Pakistan,  petitions in Supreme Court and Delhi HC opposing bail of JNU accused having sedition Charges and Delhi HC issued Notice to Delhi Govt/ Delhi Police on his Kanhaiya bail cancellation petition, and this petition to EC for disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs for holding ‘office of profit’ illegitimately.