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Kalam's decision wise: Expert
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | May 31, 2006 00:43 IST
Rajeev Dhawan, India's leading Constitutional expert told rediff.com, "This is a very, very far-reaching decision of President Abdul Kalam."
Dhawan said, "Under Indian Constitution the President has a right to send back – only once - a bill passed by the Parliament. The President is a part of the legislative process in India. President's judgment in this regard is "not on advise by Cabinet." This provision under the Constitution acts as a break, they balance out the government's actions. This right allows the President to exercise Constitutional principles over which Parliamentarians can rethink."
Dhawan says that the original idea behind the Constitutional provision to allow holding of an Office of Profit by Members of Parliament was that it would allow certain dignitaries to continue working for public good as well as letting them enrich the Parliament. People who are doing amazing social work can become members by getting exemption under "office of profit "provision.
The founding fathers of our Constitution thought that public good will be better served if certain people get seats in Parliament too, said Dhawan.
In the last session of Parliament a bill was passed giving too many exemption to many "offices" held by current MPs under the office of Profit provision and that too with retrospective effect is not signed by President Kalam.
Dhawan severely criticises exemptions given under the Office of Profit bill, which is now sent back to Parliament.
He said, "Provision of "Office of Profit" was never intended to legitimise which was something patently illegitimate. The current bill which President Kalam has refused to sign is clearly arbitrary in deciding the Office of Profit."
Dhawan said, "The President is right in refusing to sign such the bill which is arbitrary across the board. There is a Supreme Court judgment in a case belonging to Rajasthan government condoning a similar bill with retrospective effect. The President has disagreed with the majority view of Parliament. His refusal means that unconstitutional provision will bring down the standard of democracy. President Kalam wants Parliament to amend the bill."
Dhawan says Jaya Bachchan ,who is a former actress, was holding the post which was enabling Film development in Uttar Pradesh and that did not violate the original idea behind Office of Profit provision. Jaya was helping the Film development process, claims Dhawan.