The defeated NDA candidate, P.A. Sangma, on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the election of Pranab Mukherjee as President, contending that he was holding offices of profit and hence not eligible to contest for the post.
The petition, filed through counsel P.V. Yogeswaran, said Mr. Mukherjee was holding an office of profit, as Chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, “on the date of filing his nomination; date of scrutiny as well as the date of declaration of his election as President and he continues to hold the post.”
Mr. Sangma alleged that the letter of resignation of Mr. Mukherjee from the post had been fabricated and the signatures affixed by someone else. Mr. Mukherjee was also holding another office of profit, as leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, For, the person holding this office was entitled to various facilities, in addition to what was available to him as MP.
“That the very act of bringing the said two offices…within the purview of the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 is in itself sufficient declaration that both are offices of profit,” the petition said.
“Even otherwise, the facilities to which the holder of these two offices is entitled, the nature of functions as well as the incompatibility and conflict of interest of these two offices with the office of President of India make it absolutely clear that they are, in fact, offices of profit.”
The objections against Mr. Mukherjee’s nomination were rejected by the Returning Officer, who did not decide the issue of genuineness of the signatures on his purported resignation from the post of ISI Chairman, Mr. Sangma said. He sought a declaration that the election of Mr. Mukherjee should be set aside and that he should be duly declared President.