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Jaya jigsaw foxes RS babus

Jaya jigsaw foxes Rajya Sabha babus

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 01:52 IST
Saroj Nagi

Jaya Bachchan's disqualification from the Rajya Sabha with retrospective effect has left behind tricky questions for House officials — what of the salary and perks she has drawn since 2004 or the records of her participation in the House proceedings?

Tricky because the Secretariat of the Council of States is on uncharted terrain — it has no precedent to go by. Rajya Sabha secretary-general Yogendra Narain, who received the Presidential order that annulled Jaya's membership, said he had no ready answers for the questions arising out of her retrospective disqualification from July 14, 2004.

Though Narain did not say so, it stands to reason that every trace of Jaya's membership might have to be removed from the records of the House. But while implementing the order, an exception would have to be made of the 10 days when she was a valid member.

Jaya took oath on July 4, 2004 and resumed her association with the UP Film Development Council, found to be an office of profit, on July 14 that year. Narain said he would also have to address issues relating to the salary and perks drawn by her. "Our office is studying the implications of the Presidential order,'' he said.

A similar case of disqualification in 1982 was without retrospective force. Also, R. Mohana Rangam, disqualified by President Zail Singh for holding the office of special representative of the Tamil Nadu government in New Delhi, accepted the punishment and did not seek any redressal in a court of law.

That isn't true of Jaya, who has already taken her case to court. So, to be on surer ground, the RS secretary-general might look for precedents, if any, in state legislatures to enforce the Rashtrapati's diktat.

As a natural corollary, the disqualification would have to be announced in the House by Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, consequent to which, the case will find a mention in the RS bulletin. In Rangam's case, the decision found a mention in the bulletin 20 days later.

First Published: Mar 18, 2006 01:52 IST