EC issues notice to Amar Singh
THE ELECTION Commission today issued notice to Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh on a petition seeking his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha on the ground that he held an office of profit.india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 02:13 IST
THE ELECTION Commission today issued notice to Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh on a petition seeking his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha on the ground that he held an office of profit.
The Commission, which has only recently recommended disqualification of his party colleague Jaya Bachchan on similiar grounds, has asked him to file a written reply on or before March 31, EC sources said.
The Commission’s communication to Singh comes on a petition seeking his disqualification on the ground that as chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Development Council, he held an office of profit and attracted disqualification.
Earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon told reporters as per the constitutional provisions, under Article 102 and 103, a petition (against Singh) had been made to the President, who had referred it to the Commission for its opinion.
“The Commission has to act according to the provisions of the Constitution. The Commission has to follow the legal and constitutional provisions and send the necessary opinion to the President and that process has started,” he said.
Only yesterday, Uttar Pradesh Assembly passed a Bill seeking to take away 79 posts, including those held by Bachchan and Singh, from the list of office of profit.
Meanwhile, Amar Singh on Friday appeared unfazed by the threat of losing his Rajya Sabha membership.
“I would contest polls to get back to Parliament if disqualified from the Rajya Sabha membership. I have the support of the senior leaders of the Samajwadi Party which would help me get re-elected again,” Singh told reporters before proceeding to address the CII annual session for Uttar Pradesh and a conference on “Driving Industrial Growth Through Competitiveness” held at Hotel Taj Residency in the state capital.
Reacting to the news reports on the Central Election Commission (CEC) serving a notice on him while questioning his status as Rajya Sabha MP , he commented: “I am hearing this from you all (mediapersons). If there had been any notice served by the CEC, my lawyer would respond to the notice accordingly”.
Singh said the CEC should serve a notice on all parliamentarians on the disqualification issue. “Right from AICC president Sonia Gandhi to CPIM leaders, all the MPs should be served notice,” he said.
“There are at least three probes going on right now on the disqualification issue— one each by the ‘Parliament Profit Committee’, the CEC and the President of India. The matter is already sub judice.
What I want to say is that one needs to clarify on the definition of what construes “disqualification” at the earliest in the parliamentary or the state legislature context,” he said.
Referring to the UP Legislature (Prevention & Disqualification) Bill 2006 already passed by the state assembly, Singh commented: “According to a Supreme Court order the legislature has the authority to amend laws with retrospective effect.
This amendment is not being made to benefit me in particular”.
“The complaint on the issue of Jaya Bachchan being a Rajya Sabha member was made by a member of the Congress. However, the Congress party would not be able to get away by merely making a complaint against Jaya Bachchan”, he said.
On the phone tapping issue, Singh said the Supreme Court order banning phone tapping by anybody was a welcome development.
“There was this talk about me talking to actress Bipasha Basu on phone. I wish it would have been possible,” he jokingly added.