Does Krishna Murari Moghe, BJP MP enjoys merely a status available to a cabinet minister or holds an office of profit by virtue of enjoying a cabinet minister rank?
Moghe has been issued a notice by the Election Commission to reply to the petition against him filed by Leader Opposition in the State Assembly Jamuna Devi.
The State BJP legal cell president and counsel for Moghe, Shantilal Lodha opines that status and office are two different things, the premise on which the reply by the end of this month would be based.
Lodha told Hindustan Times that the charge levelled against Moghe was that the state government had given him the status, position and perks, which were available to a cabinet minister in the state and by virtue of his deemed status he could not be protected under Article 102 of the Constitution or under the Parliament Act to prevent his disqualification as the MP.
Lodha said, what is to be decided is whether on the basis of a status a MP could be disqualified for holding his post.
In his opinion Moghe was not holding any office of profit while occupying the post of the chairman of Parliamentary wing of the BJP.
He has merely been given the status of a cabinet minister while status and office were two different things, he argued. Lodha said “Article 102 of the Constitution has used the words holding any office of profit. There is no word like status.”
Though it is an arguable case, Moghe under the umbrella of status will be saved from disqualification,” he added. Lodha, however, admitted that there was no precedence so as to differentiate between “status and office.”