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Office of Profit issue put to rest
September 01, 2006 22:58 IST
The Election Commission is likely to close about 40 cases of disqualification petitions against members of Parliament including Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee under a new amendment that provided exemption for more posts.
The issue was discussed at a meeting of the full election commission on Friday.
It was not clear whether the petition filed recently against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
The two, as trustees of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, were said to hold offices of profit.
Chatterjee, who is also Chairperson of the Santiniketan-Sriniketan Development Board, and Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh, who is the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Industrial Development Council, are among the 40 MPs against whom disqualification petitions are pending on the ground they hold offices of profit.
Recently, President A P J Abdul Kalam gave his assent to the controversial Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2006, a day after Parliament approved the setting up of a Joint Committee to define what constitutes such an office.
The presidential assent to the law with retrospective effect is expected to provide relief to these MPs.Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswamy had said earlier that the election commission would abide by the legislation in deciding on the petitions.