‘Sonia didn’t violate office of profit law’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Sonia didn’t violate office of profit law’

india Updated: Dec 22, 2008 23:51 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Congress President Sonia Gandhi had not violated the office of profit law, a report filed in Lok Sabha by a 15-member joint committee of both houses of Parliament said.

The panel examined the constitutional and legal positions relating to the office of profit law and came up with new definitions, on the basis of which Sonia was given the clean chit.

It declared "Advisory offices in Union or States" as one of the three categories, which should not be included as offices of profit.

Sonia was the chairperson of National Advisory Council to guide the UPA government. Her position was challenged before the Election Commission alleging that the NAC was an office of profit.

Central and state ministers and office in Parliament or State Legislatures are the other two categories exempted by the panel, headed by veteran Congress MP from Karnataka, Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi.

"Advisory office means any office which is associated with purely giving counsel or recommendation on any particular subject in respect of any matter of public interest and no salary or remuneration except for compensatory allowance is attached with it," the Committee said.

The office of profit controversy had become a severe crisis for the UPA government when complaints against nearly 50 MPs belonging to various parties of the ruling alliance were filed with the Election Commission in 2006. Sonia had quit her Rae Bareli seat and the chairpersonship of NAC after the controversy.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and CPM leader Mohammad Salim were among those against whom complaints were filed.

It had also led to the disqualification of Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan as she was also heading the Film Development Council in Uttar Pradesh.