Govt to protect MPs’ office of profit?
To protect Members of Parliament (MPs) from getting disqualified under the controversial clause of the office of profit for holding posts in their capacity as public representatives, the government has proposed to make amends to the constitution.delhi Updated: Feb 06, 2011 00:40 IST
To protect Members of Parliament (MPs) from getting disqualified under the controversial clause of the office of profit for holding posts in their capacity as public representatives, the government has proposed to make amends to the constitution.
The move follows the recommendations by a parliamentary panel which have been accepted by the law ministry and it will be placed before the union cabinet shortly.
"On the recommendation of the joint committee of parliament on office of profit, it is desired to have a bill to exempt any Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha MP on being elected or appointed to all such offices established under any central or state law," states the ministry note.
The legal arm of the government has proposed to add a fresh clause (termed residuary clause) in the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959, "to provide the necessary protection to MPs."
The government had promised both houses of Parliament in 2006 to clearly define the office of profit, after getting the parliamentary approval to add 56 more offices to the 1959 law, which saved 46 MPs from disqualification, mainly belonging to the ruling UPA and the Left parties.
"We want to make clear provisions in the law to avoid the acrimony which rose in 2006 following a flood of petitions against MPs in the Election Commission seeking their disqualification," said a top ministry official.
The ministry is also seeking to amend Articles 102 and 191 of the constitution which currently provide for grounds on which MPs can be disqualified.
The JPC on office of profit was first set up in Sept 2006 following the govt’s assurance to the then President Kalam for a clearly laid down law
Kalam had returned file to Parliament for reconsideration of the amendment to the 1959 law. He later signed it after the govt had assured him to address the concerns raised by him
The law ministry has stated in its proposal that relevant laws from other democracies such as UK have been examined to evolve a fair and comprehensive criteria