‘Cong, DMK leaders not liable for disqualification’

K. Lakshminarayanan  

In response to the demand of the AIADMK and the BJP that Congress and DMK legislators resign for occupying posts in quasi-government organisations, the ruling Congress on Tuesday said that the legislators were holding additional responsibilities with the clear backing of legislation enacted by the Assembly.

The demand for their resignation was made after the President, on the advice of Election Commission, disqualified 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries.

On the demand made by both the political parties, Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister K. Lakshminarayanan told The Hindu that his post and of other legislators as Chairman of corporations and public sector undertakings are backed by appropriate legislation.

In 1971, the Assembly, with the approval of Union Ministry of Home Affairs, had passed the Parliamentary Secretary (Payment of Special Allowance and Prevention of Disqualification) Act.

The objective, Mr Lakshminarayanan, said was to make way for the appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary from among members of the Assembly.

The Act had made it “explicit” that by the appointment the person “will not incur any disqualification either for being chosen or being a member of the Assembly.

“A member of the Legislative Assembly of Puducherry, who is appointed as Parliamentary Secretary, shall, in addition to the salary and other allowances to which he is entitled from time to time as such member, be paid a special allowance of ₹1,500 per month,” he said quoting the Act.

As for the appointment of chairman/chairpersons of corporations, societies and public sector undertakings, the Assembly had enacted The Pondicherry Members of the Legislative Assembly (Prevention of Disqualification) Act in 1994 paving the way for appointment to six quasi-government establishments.

Later in 2009, an amendment was brought to the Act to include 64 statutory bodies, corporations and societies for appointing chairman, president, vice-chairman, vice-president and director.

“The case is different here. In Delhi, the President did not give assent to the law as it did not have the concurrence of the Lt. Governor,” he said.

As per Article 191 (1) of the Constitution, the Congress leader said, a person shall be disqualified for office of profit “if he or she holds a post other than an office declared by the Legislative of the State by law not to disqualify its holder.”

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 4:21:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/cong-dmk-leaders-not-liable-for-disqualification/article22500399.ece

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