YSR Congress MP Vijaisai Reddy cleared of charge that he holds office of profit

President accepts EC opinion that he had not incurred disqualification for his role as A.P. government’s special representative.

Updated - September 08, 2020 03:25 pm IST

Published - September 08, 2020 03:19 pm IST - NEW DELHI

 A view of Election Commission of India in New Delhi.

A view of Election Commission of India in New Delhi.

A Rajya Sabha MP of the YSR Congress Party from Andhra Pradesh, V. Vijaisai Reddy, has been cleared of the charge of holding an office of profit for being appointed the A.P. government’s special representative at Andhra Bhavan in Delhi.

In an order on August 31, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the Election Commission of India’s opinion that Mr. Reddy had not incurred disqualification as an MP for his role as the A.P. government’s special representative.

The EC’s June 8 opinion said the government order appointing Mr. Reddy on July 7, 2019, had stated that he would not be “entitled for any other perks”. He would, however, enjoy the status of “State guest” while undertaking official visits to Andhra Pradesh as the special representative of the State government at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan, New Delhi, the EC opinion said, citing the government order.

The President’s order stated that a petition seeking disqualification of Mr. Reddy as an MP was received on September 9, 2019, and the petition had been referred to the EC for its opinion. Mr. Reddy was elected to the Rajya Sabha on June 3, 2016, and was then appointed to the office of special representative by the State government and given the rank of a Cabinet Minister on June 22, 2019. The appointment was cancelled on July 4, 2019, as Mr. Reddy was holding an office of profit, the petition said.

Mr. Reddy was then re-appointed to the role on July 7, 2019, with the clarification that he would not be entitled to any other perks other than “enjoying the status of State guest during his official travels in the State of Andhra Pradesh in connection with performance of his duties as Special Representative”, the President’s order stated.

The EC cited the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act 1959 Section 3, where a list of offices of profit that do not lead to disqualification includes certain offices where the holder is “not entitled to any remuneration other than compensatory allowance”. The EC also cited judgments that have held that “an office will not fall in the category of ‘Office of Profit’ if no pecuniary gain can be made from it”.

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