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Four former CMs may face heat

THE SWORD of office of profit is hanging not only on CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan but also on four former chief ministers ? Arjun Singh, Digvijay Singh, Kailash Joshi and Babulal Gaur. The former CMs may lose membership of their respective legislative house for enjoying facilities of a Cabinet rank minister.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 14:18 IST

THE SWORD of office of profit is hanging not only on CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan but also on four former chief ministers – Arjun Singh, Digvijay Singh, Kailash Joshi and Babulal Gaur. The former CMs may lose membership of their respective legislative house for enjoying facilities of a Cabinet rank minister.

The Digvijay Singh Government had decided in 1994 to provide facilities of a Cabinet minister to all the former chief ministers who were members of either Assembly or Parliament.

The successor BJP Government amended the decision to extend the facilities to all former CMs irrespective of whether they are members of Houses. Hence Sunderlal Patwa and Uma Bharti are also enjoying a Cabinet minister’s facilities though they are not members of any House. Two leaders of Chhattisgarh –Shyama Charan Shukla and Motilal Vora – are also given same facilities by the MP Government.

The recent Supreme Court ruling has landed the former CMs in trouble. The SC considered the facilities for a deemed minister as office of profit. The four leaders are enjoying facilities accorded to a former CM apart from those they are entitled to either as an MP or MLA.

Though a majority of State ministers heading boards, corporations and other state-owned undertakings have survived the ‘office-of-profit’ storm due to the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Mandal Sadasya Nirharta Nivaran Adhiniyam 1967, the Act has no mention about facilities to former chief ministers.

When contacted, Law Department officials said they would comment on the issue only after detailed study.

First Published: May 30, 2006 14:18 IST