She can quit, contest again
ACCEPTING THE Election Commission's recommendation, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has disqualified Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan from the Rajya Sabha on the ground that she was holding an office of profit. The disqualification is with retrospective effect from July 14, 2004.india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 12:19 IST
ACCEPTING THE Election Commission's recommendation, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has disqualified Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan from the Rajya Sabha on the ground that she was holding an office of profit. The disqualification is with retrospective effect from July 14, 2004.
Kalam had sought the poll panel's opinion on a petition filed by a Congress worker from UP, Madan Mohan, seeking Bachchan's disqualification since she was also chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council (UPFDC).
While recommending Bachchan's disqualification in his report to the president, Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon had said she was indeed holding an office of profit as she enjoyed the status of a cabinet minister, including the salary and perks.
The EC said Bachchan became disqualified under sub-clause (a) of Clause 1 of Article 102 of the Constitution from July 14, 2004, following her appointment as UPFDC chairperson. She was elected to the Rajya Sabha in June 2004.
According to the provisions of the Constitution's articles 102 and 103, which deal with the disqualification of MPs, the president has to consult the EC before taking a final decision. As per the provisions of Article 103, the president is bound by the commission's recommendation.
Sources said Kalam consulted legal experts before giving his consent for Bachchan's disqualification. Bachchan has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the EC's recommendation.
Senior EC officials said Bachchan could contest elections immediately after the government issues the notification for her disqualification from the Upper House. "Bachchan has been disqualified from the Rajya Sabha but not barred from contesting future elections for a particular time period," said an official.
EC officials said Bachchan would have to resign from her post as UPFDC chairperson before contesting. "As a precedent has already been set, she obviously cannot commit the same mistake again," said the official.