THE OFFICE of Profit Bill passed on Thursday in the State Assembly excludes former chief ministers still enjoying the rank of a Cabinet minister and its facilities.
The former CMs have not been exempted from the MP Vidhan Mandal Sadasya Nirharta Nivaran Adhiniyam 1967 either. Of the six former CMs, two – Babulal Gaur and Digvijay Singh — are MLAs. Two others – Kailash Joshi and Arjun Singh — are MPs. But Uma Bharti and Sunderlal Patwa are not legislators now.
Legal experts say the Supreme Court had also considered status of a cabinet minister to former CMs as an office of profit and mentioned clearly that beneficiaries of such facilities may face disqualification whether they availed these facilities or not.
The Digvijay Singh Government in 1994 had decided to provide facilities to all former CMs who were members of the assembly, Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. But the BJP Government extended this facility to all former CMs, irrespective of whether they are members of a legislature or not.
Thus, this facility is available to Bharti and Patwa. Similarly, two Chhattisgarh leaders – Shyama Charan Shukla and Motilal Vora – are given such facilities by the MP Government.