AAP government's response sought on appointment of secretaries
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response from the Arvind Kejriwal government on a plea against its move to appoint 21 AAP legislators as parliamentary secretaries. A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw, however, refused to stay the government order saying it requires further consideration.
The bench asked the Delhi government counsel to take instructions and clear its stand on the issue. The court sought a response by July 1.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO, Rashtriya Mukti Morcha, against the Delhi government?s move to appoint 21 Aam Aadmi Party legislators as parliamentary secretaries. ?We cannot stay the order? The Delhi government seeks time; let them file a response,? the bench said.
The PIL filed against Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, the central government and the legislators asked the court to scrap the appointments, questioning their legal validity. After taking power in February, the Kejriwal government appointed the parliamentary secretaries attached to government ministries.
The government claimed this would facilitate the smooth functioning but made it clear they won?t receive any remuneration or perk of any kind from the government ? meaning no burden on the exchequer. The order, however, permits them to use government transport for official purposes and has earmarked space in the ministers? offices to help them in official work. The PIL said the appointments were ?unconstitutional, illegal and without jurisdiction?. It said the chief minister has ?no power, jurisdiction or authority? to administer the oath of office to parliamentary secretaries.
The legislators appointed as parliamentary secretaries include Praveen Kumar to the education minister, Sharad Kumar to the revenue minister, Adarsh Shastri to the IT minister, Madan Lal to the vigilance minister, Charan Goel to the finance minister, Sanjeev Jha to the transport minister, Sarita Singh to the employment minister, Naresh Yadav to the labour minister, Jarnail Singh to the development minister and Rajesh Gupta to the health minister.