In a move that could trigger a fresh controversy, the Election Commission has asked the West Bengal government to provide details about offices of profit allegedly held by seven CPI-M MPs, including Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
The panel wrote to the state chief secretary last week, seeking such details as the time from when the MPs had been holding the posts and the terms and conditions pertaining to these positions, EC sources said.
The state government was asked to send its response by July three.
Ten CPI-M MPs, including Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterejee, had been accused by Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy of holding offices of profit.
The EC has sought responses from two MPs -- Bansagopal Chowdhury and Lakshman Seth -- by July seven while the case pertaining to Nilotpal Basu is likely to be closed since his term in the Rajya Sabha has ended.
The Commission is duty-bound to go into petitions referred to it by President APJ Abdul Kalam, the sources said adding that the panel decided to seek the details from the West Bengal government as "sufficient information was not forthcoming" from the petitioner, Mukul Roy.
Besides Lok Sabha Speaker Chatterjee, the others MPs on whom information has been sought are Mohammed Salim, Hannan Mollah, Amitava Nandi, Sudhanshu Sil, Tarit Baran Topdar and Sujan Chakraborty.
Critical of the EC action, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury had said the party has rejected the idea that MPs should not hold any post that is in the realm of public service.