Election Commission Gives Clean Chit To Manish Sisodia In Office Of Profit Case

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Election Commission Gives Clean Chit To Manish Sisodia In Office Of Profit Case

The EC said that Mr Sisodia cannot be disqualified as a lawmaker for being a deputy chief minister.

New Delhi:  Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia can't be disqualified as a legislator for holding an office of profit, the Election Commission (EC) today said. The Commission cleared the Aam Aadmi Party lawmaker of allegations saying that "several states have posts of deputy chief ministers and it cannot be construed as an office of profit". 

The EC told President Pranab Mukherjee that Mr Sisodia cannot be disqualified as a lawmaker for being a deputy chief minister. 

 Last year, a petition was filed with the President by BJP leader Vivek Garg that the legislators -- who cannot hold any public office that entitles them to benefits, financial or otherwise -- should be disqualified for taking up the job. The Commission, which is mandated to give its recommendations, started hearings last July.

It is hearing two separate cases related to office of profit concerning AAP MLAs. While the first case concerns 21 lawmakers, the other is related to 27 legislators. The 21 lawmakers were appointed as parliamentary secretaries to ministers in the AAP government after the AAP swept the 2015 assembly elections in the national capital. 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had defended the appointments saying the legislators were helping the government deliver on the promises made to the people and weren't paid from the exchequer for the extra work that they put in.

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In June, 2016, the President had refused to clear a Delhi government Bill that sought to amend the law on office of profit. It was then left to the Commission to decide whether the 21 lawmakers who serve as parliamentary secretaries should be disqualified. The bill had sought to exclude the post of parliamentary secretaries from an office of profit list.   

(With inputs from PTI)

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