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Law on course

Buoyed by a consensus among political parties on the need for a legislation to define an office of profit, the government is now considering when to reconvene the two Houses of Parliament to legislate on it.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2006 14:05 IST
SAROJ Nagi

Buoyed by a consensus among political parties on the need for a legislation to define an office of profit, the government is now considering when to reconvene the two Houses of  Parliament to legislate on it.

Immediately after the Cabinet meeting on March 30 (where the issue isn't listed so far), the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) will meet to decide whether the government should go ahead with its original schedule of reconvening the two Houses on May 10 or prepone it as some parties desire.

In fact, the CCPA, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has a three-point agenda: finalising the date for the Parliament session; deciding whether the government should bring a new and comprehensive legislation or initiate substantive amendments to the existing Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act 1959, including what constitutes an office of profit; and deciding whether it should hold an all-party meeting before the two Houses reassemble.

Clearly, the ordinance route has been completely ruled out. Parliamentary affairs minister P.R. Dasmunshi was confident that will be “neither confusion nor confrontation” in dealing with it though he has yet to hear from the AIADMK and the Akali Dal or speak to former Premier H D Deve Gowda. But all parties, barring the BJP and SP, favoured a joint consultative exercise, he said after reporting to the PM his consultations with party leaders on the issue.

The issue that began with a petition against Jaya Bachchan for holding an office of profit has been gathering  a momentum
of its own.