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Setback to the Arvind Kejriwal Government: High Court quashes appointment of AAP’s 21 Parliamentary Secretaries

The order, however, permitted them to use government transport for official purposes and earmarked space in the ministers' offices to help them in the official work

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Delhi High Court. Image source: Flickr
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New Delhi, Sept 08, 2016: In a setback to the Arvind Kejriwal government, the Delhi High Courton Thursday quashed the appointment of 21 parliamentary secretaries after the AAP government conceded that the Lt Governor’s approval was not taken in the matter.

Following the submission of the government and in light of its recent judgement giving primacy to the LG in administrative control of the capital, a bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal quashed the appointments.

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The AAP government told the Court that the appointment of 21 parliamentary secretaries was made without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor. TheCourtwas hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the AAP government’s decision to appoint 21 party legislators as parliamentary secretaries.

Earlier, the government had defended its decision to appoint the party MLAs as parliamentary secretaries, saying the move does not amount to creation of a “public office”.

After coming to power in February 2015, the ArvindKejriwal government appointed the parliamentary secretaries, saying this would facilitate smooth functioning but made it clear that they won’t receive any remuneration or perk of any kind from the government, that is, no burden on the exchequer.

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The order, however, permitted them to use government transport for official purposes and earmarked space in the ministers’ offices to help them in the official work.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain for the Centre had said that even if you are using a driver, it is an office of profit. NGO Rashtriya Mukti Morcha had sought scrapping of the appointments as these were “unconstitutional, illegal and without jurisdiction”.

The PIL said the Chief Minister had “no power, jurisdiction or authority” to administer the oath of office to parliamentary secretaries. (IANS)

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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Kejriwal
Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

Munish Raizada, kejriwal
Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

munish raizada, kejriwal
Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.