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HC pulls up EC on 'Office of profit' row
May 30, 2006 22:08 IST
Questioning the manner in which it functioned, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Election Commission to file a detailed report on the action taken upon the reference made by President A P J Abdul Kalam on the disqualification of 40 MPs and 229 legislators over the "office of profit issue."
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kailash Ghambir asked the Commission to file its reply in an affidavit and posted the matter for further hearing to July 24.
"What is the state of enquiry? Is it how you function? the Bench asked the EC's counsel when the latter submitted that the Commission had earlier issued notices to Samajawadi Party MP Amar Singh and certain other elected representatives under Article 102 on the issue.
The Bench passed the directions on a public interest litigation filed by Dr J K Jain, Chief Editor and Chairman of Jain Televisions alleging that the Election Commission had acted discriminatorily by disqualifying former SP MP Jaya Bachchan, but failing to act against other MPs and MLAs in violation or Article 102 which prohibits elected members of Parliament and State Legislatures from holding any office of profit.
Pointing out that the recent Bill passed by Parliament to protect the members from disqualification was yet to become an Act, Jain, who appeared in person, urged the court to direct the EC to disqualify the MPs and MLAs whose names were referred to the Commission under Article 103 by the President in March 2006.