Office of Profit Act challenged in SC
The Trinamool Congress challenges the constitutional validity of the Prevention of Disqualification Amendment Act 2006.india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 17:53 IST
Trinamool Congress member of Rajya Sabha Dinesh Trivedi has challenged the constitutional validity of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Act 2006 (Act no 31 of 2006) in the Supreme Court as the impugned Act is aimed at shielding those MPs and ministers who are holding office of profit.
The petitioner has asked for interim stay against the operation and enforcement of the impugned Act.
The petitioner has also asked for stay of the implementation and enforcement of the impugned Act with retrospective effect so that it will not affect the disqualification proceedings pending before the Election Commission prior to the passing of the Act or the disqualification incurred prior to the passing of the Act.
The petition filed through Mr P H Parekh had contended that the sole aim of the Act is to protect the political leaders including the Ministers and MPs who are holding the office of profit while being Ministers and MPs.
More than 40 members from both Houses of Parliament including Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Samajwadi Party(SP) MP Amar Singh and others are facing disqualification proceedings under Article 102 and 192 of the Constitution of India and the inquiries being conducted by the Election Commission of India.
According to the petitioner Law Minister H R Bhardwaj in his speech in Rajya Sabha on July 27, 2006 admitted that the government had come with the amendment Bill to protect some honourable Members and that after the Bill was passed the government would be ready to constitute a committee of both Houses to look into the matter thoroughly and come out with a solution.
The impugned Act has taken out 45 offices of profit with retrospective effect to shield the political leaders.
President A P J Abdul Kalam had returned the Bill to the Parliament for reconsideration as he had some reservations about the validity of the Bill. The Bill was returned by the government without making any changes.
According to the petitioner the Act has been enacted in self interest and not in public interest and has nullified the objective and the principles underlying the Article 102 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India and the real purpose behind the enactment of the impugned Act is to protect the Members of Parliament holding the offices of profit in question, who are facing disqualification before the Election Commission under Article 103 of the Constitution.
Mr Parekh shall mention the matter before the court tomorrow for fixing the date for early hearing of the matter.