New Delhi: Delhi government on Wednesday defended its order appointing 21 AAP MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries to its ministers, telling the High Court that this was done to assist the ministers and ensure harmonious functioning.
"The provision of Parliamentary Secretary is merely to assist the Minister in connecting to the public and the rest of the assembly and ensuring a harmonious functioning," a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, was told.
The submission was made during the hearing on a PIL by NGO 'Rashtriya Mukti Morcha' which sought quashing of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's March 13 order appointing 21 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs as the Parliamentary Secretaries (PS).
The AAP government further told the bench no office akin to the Council of Ministers has been created and no additional hierarchy imposed upon the legislative assembly.
"It is pertinent to note that the PS are not provided any dedicated vehicle, driver or other support systems. Further, they do not have any executive powers and hence are not responsible for decision-making unlike the ministers.
"Therefore, irrespective of assistance sought from them by the Minister concerned, since such assistance is not exclusive as Minister is not bound to consult the PS, and not binding, since Minister can opine against the view of the PS, the PS does not form part of the administration," the Delhi government said.
The AAP government's response came in the backdrop of the court notice on July 2 seeking their stand.
It further said the creation of posts do not amount to "creation of a public office, as the minister-in-charge can still seek opinion from any other MLA or person".