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President rejects AAP’s ‘office of profit’ bill

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee has rejected Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government’s plea seeking to make amendments to the ‘Office of Profit’ bill. “The president did not give assent to Delhi government’s bill and sent it back to the Lt. Governor’s office on Monday. This has been forwarded to the Law Secretary of the Delhi government,” sources at the LG’s office told.

The Ministry had referred the Bill for legal opinion to the Attorney-General who, a fortnight ago, said an elected representative cannot hold an office of profit; this was then forwarded to Rashtrapati Bhavan with the Ministry giving its recommendation that the Bill may not be accorded assent.

Different petitions had been filed with the President seeking the disqualification of these MLAs, appointed Parliamentary Secretaries by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on May 20 last year, on the ground that they occupied offices of profit and were being extended benefits over and above those allowed by the Representation of the People Act, 1951. According to the order, yet to be communicated to the Delhi government, the 21 MLAs must now demit the office of Parliamentary Secretary. This even as the Delhi government maintained that the refusal of the President’s assent did not have any effect on their membership of the Delhi Assembly.