Delhi dual office bill: Kejriwal needs to understand the law and not accuse

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New Delhi, June 15: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was quick to launch an attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the dual office bill was rejected by the President.

While accusing the PM of vendetta he went on to quote the situation in other states where parliamentary secretaries had been appointed. Kejriwal had sought to exempt this post from the purview of office of profit.

Arvind Kejriwal

While the Delhi CM has stated that the bill would be re-introduced, he may find himself on a sticky wicket as there is every chance that the same would be rejected again.

Delhi has special status:

According to noted psephologist, Dr Sandeep Shastri, Kejriwal cannot quote the case of other states. He tells OneIndia that given the special status that Delhi has, the provisions of other states cannot be quoted by Kejriwal.

Further Dr Shastri also points out that re-introducing the bill will not help and neither will it resolve Kejriwal's problem. Reintroducing the bill cannot resolve the issue and a retrospective application rarely gets approval. 

These issues have come up before the various high courts in the past as well. The Calcutta High Court had quashed the appointment of 24 parliamentary secretaries in West Bengal last year. It was stated that the post runs contrary to Article 164 (1A) of the Constitution.

Read More: AAP's dual office bill withheld by President of India

The article seeks to limit the number of the total number of ministers in a state cabinet to 15 per cent of the total number of members in the legislative assembly.

It was observed that a parliamentary secretary holds the rank of a minister of state and hence these appointments in West Bengal were dubbed unconstitutional. Similar verdicts had been passed by the Himachal Pradesh, Bombay and Andhra Pradesh high courts.

Going by these precedents, in the case of Delhi the number of Cabinet ministers cannot exceed 10 per cent. With a strength of 70 in the assembly the number of cabinet ministers authorised is 7 which means only one parliamentary secretary can be appointed.

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