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Office of profit: EC to view reference by Prez

The EC would take note of petitions on the office of profit issue after the President and Governors's referrence.
None | By Press Trust of India, Chennai
UPDATED ON MAR 29, 2006 07:24 PM IST

The Election Commission would take note of petitions seeking to disqualify MPs and MLAs on the issue of holding offices of profit only if the President and Governors of the concerned states referred the matter to it, Chief Election Commissioner BB Tandon said in Chennai on Wednesday.

After reviewing arrangements for the May 8 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls along with the other two members of the commission, Tandon told a press conference that the commission would not enquire petitions submitted directly to it.

If a petition on disqualification were referred to the EC, it would inform the complaint to the respondent. Both the complainant and respondent would be called for an inquiry if there were sufficient materials and prima facie evidence, Tandon said.

On the Tamil Nadu government's complaints that the EC had banned distribution of relief materials to the Tsunami and flood victims of the state, he said the Commission would allow distribution of relief to those who had already been identified by the officials. However, no new beneficiary could be added, he said.

The EC would also allow developmental activities like providing drinking water and laying of roads in the affected areas.

On the Union Finance Ministry's announcing additional instalment of DA to the central government employees, he said the benefit did not pertain to any particular state and was a national issue and hence there was nothing wrong in it. The model code did not apply to the Centre on national issues, he said.

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