Issue may open Pandora?s box | india | Hindustan Times
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Issue may open Pandora?s box

IF CM Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said quite a few MPs and legislators in the country would invite disqualification that way for holding office of profit, he was not completely out of tune. Many other public representatives besides Jaya Bachchan hold such posts. However, this is not for the first time that legislators are holding such posts.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 01:51 IST

IF CM Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said quite a few MPs and legislators in the country would invite disqualification that way for holding office of profit, he was not completely out of tune. Many other public representatives besides Jaya Bachchan hold such posts. However, this is not for the first time that legislators are holding such posts.

The Bachchan issue has merely brought the issue into focus.

Minister for Urban Development Mohammad Azam Khan also faces similar charges, for holding office of chairman Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam. The issue is under consideration of the Election Commission.

So what does the law say on office of profit. The provisions of “Uttar Pradesh State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1971” is clear about the issue. The Act incorporates list of offices that according to it would not invite disqualification for legislators holding such posts. The Act had been obviously enacted in pursuance of the provisions of Article 102 (1) (a) that empowered Parliament and state legislatures to provide exemptions, said a legal expert.

A close scrutiny of the provisions of the Act, however, indicates that many offices held by public representatives have not been exempted from the purview of being office of profit. Therefore, such MLAs may invite disqualification, say experts. Most of the 38 MLAs of the group of 40 BSP MLAs had been given one office or the other as chairmen of various corporations etc. Though many of them hold the posts that may not be termed office of profit, a number of MLAs continue to hold important posts in corporations not exempted under the Act.

Such un-exempted corporations include the UP State Tourism Development Corporation that has Nawab Quazim Ali, MLA from Swar Tanda constituency of Rampur, as its chairman. Another MLA Matesh Sonkar holds the office of chairman of UP State Seed Development Corporation. This corporation also does not figure in the list exempted corporations. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board with MLA Rajendra Singh Chauhan as chairman also does not find its name in the list of exempted organisations.

Other corporations of the un-exempted category include UP State Employees Welfare Corporation (chairman Shyam Lal Rawat, MLA), UP Forest Corporation (chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav alias “Kakka”, MLA), UP State Minorities Finance Development Corporation (chairman Ata-ul-Rehman, MLA) and UP Waqf Development Corporation (chairman Kamal Yusuf Malik, MLA).

As a consequence such MLAs holding such offices would be disqualified provided a petition to disqualify them was filed, said the State Bharatiya Janata Party President Keshari Nath Tripathi. “Such legislators stand disqualified from the moment they hold office of profit,” he said. Leader of the CLP Pramod Tiwari also expressed the same point of view saying the legislators holding posts of non-exempted corporations would be liable to get disqualified. Replying to a question, Azam Khan also said the petition against him was politically motivated.

Governor TV Rajeswar had sent a letter to the Election Commission recommending his disqualification for holding office of chairman of UP Jal Nigam, said Khan adding he had not been drawing any salary or allowances. His appointment letter had categorically stated that he would not be given benefits, said Khan.