|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
SC dismisses Jaya's petition on RS seat
May 08, 2006 13:17 IST
Last Updated: May 08, 2006 16:27 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan's petition challenging her disqualification as Rajya Sabha member of Parliament by President A P J Abdul Kalam on the recommendation of the Election Commission for holding an office of profit.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who resigned as MP and chairperson of the National Advisory Council in the aftermath of Jaya's dismissal, is seeking re-election from Rae Bareli on Monday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal said that the law on this issue is settled since 1954 and what is material is not whether the person actually received any remuneration or pecuniary gains, but whether the office he or she holds is itself of profit.
"In this view, the question whether the petitioner (Jaya Bachchan) actually received any pecuniary gain is not material," the bench said adding, "We do not find any merit in the petition."
Senior counsel Fali Nariman had requested the court to clarify the position as there were several cases, including those from various states, pending before the Election Commission and the commission was "weilding stick" on legislators on the office of profit issue.
The Samajwadi Party leader had sought declaring as "null and void" the President's order and the EC's opinion recommending her disqualification as member of the Rajya Sabha contending that she never made actual pecuniary gains from the alleged office of profit in her position as chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Film Development Corporation.
In her petition, Bachchan had said that the cases decided by the apex court under Article 102(1)(a) and Article 191(1)(a) of the Constitution held that even where a post or office carries remuneration or pay, in the absence of proof of any actual pecuniary gain to the holder from that office, the holder cannot be said to be holding "an office of profit".
Jaya Bachchan was disquaified as a member of Rajya Sabha on March 16.
Her disqualification was with retrospective effect from July 14, 2004, 10 days after her election on July 4, 2004, when she was appointed to the film council post.
Coverage: The office of profit controversy