Lok Sabha nod for OoP Bill | india | Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha nod for OoP Bill

THE LOK Sabha on Tuesday passed by voice vote the Bill to exempt 56 posts from disqualification under the Parliament (Disqualification) Act-1959. A few BJP members walked out during the three-hour debate saying members who were part of the exempt list should not be present for voting.

india Updated: May 17, 2006 01:45 IST
JAY Raina

THE LOK Sabha on Tuesday passed by voice vote the Bill to exempt 56 posts from disqualification under the Parliament (Disqualification) Act-1959.

A few BJP members walked out during the three-hour debate saying members who were part of the exempt list should not be present for voting.

Unlike the strident opposition that the NDA, led by BJP leader LK Advani, presented during the introduction of the Bill, its passage was a relatively smooth affair. Advani's principal target then had been Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was then the NAC chairperson.

Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj maintained that the government had no partisan intentions over the Bill. "We have approached all political parties to enlarge the exempted list to reach unanimity," he said. "We have taken note of the views of all legal experts including that of the latest judgement of the Supreme Court to firm up the Bill," the Law Minister said while expressing anguish that the opposition had targeted a single individual (Sonia Gandhi).

Significantly, the 29 exempted posts spelt out in the original Bill approved by the Union Cabinet last week went up to 46 at the time of the introduction of the amending law in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday afternoon. The Law Minister said even those opposing the Bill had privately sought inclusion of several offices in the exempted list.

Under the amended law, all exempted posts will have retrospective effect from April 4,1959 - the day the original office of profit Act was made applicable.