The term of the 15 member joint parliamentary commission set up to suggest a clear definition of the office of profit as desired by President APJ Abdul Kalam has been extended by six months. An announcement to this effect was made on Tuesday.
When it was constituted in August, the committee was asked to make a report to the Lok Sabha by the first day of the last week of the winter session. The panel, headed by Congress MP Iqbal Ahmed Sardagi, would now submit its report on the "first day of the last week" of the Budget session next year.
The panel has so far only heard the views of some legal experts. It recently sought the views of the public.
The panel was set up to address the questions raised by the President when he returned for reconsidering the Parliament (prevention of disqualification) bill that was passed by the two Houses during the Budget session. He signed it in July only after the two Houses passed it again and the Government assured that it will go into the issues he had raised.
The committee, which has 10 Lok Sabha and five Rajya Sabha MPs, was asked to examine the feasibility of adopting the system of law relating to prevention of disqualification of MPs as existing in the UK and considered by the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976 and to suggest a comprehensive definition of office of profit while examining it in the context of settled interpretation of this expression under Article 102 of the Constitution.
The office of profit issue had stirred a major controversy early this year when SP member Jaya Bachchan was disqualified when she took on the office of the chairperson of the UP Film Development Corporation. She was subsequently re-elected.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who was attacked by the Opposition in the wake of the controversy, had also resigned her Rae Bareli seat and sought a fresh mandate. She was re-elected to the House.