The Election Commission of India had submitted names of 20 MLAs of Delhi to President who were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries. It had recommended President to extinguish their membership because a person can’t take benefit of two posts. It is called office of profit.
According to Article 102(1)(a) and Article 191(10)(a) of Indian Constitution, no Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly can hold post where he would be receiving separate salary, allowance or any other profit. Office of profit can be of any government whether centre or state. It was submitted by Centre in July 2016 in High Court that except Parliamentary Secretaries of Chief Minister, there is no mention of Parliamentary Secretary either in Constitution or in Delhi Legislative Member (Disqualification) Act, 1997.
The Delhi Legislative Assembly passed a bill on 24 June, 2015 and Parliamentary Secretary was kept out of office of profit. But, the then President did not gave his assent and it was returned back.
The reason behind office of profit given in the Constitution is that if a Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly will get profit apart from his post then he will always praise that government and will not take up issues of public interest. He will become puppet of government.
It was held by Supreme Court in case of Jaya Bacchan that if any MP or MLA will hold office of profit then his/her membership will be cancelled inspite he refused to take any salary or other allowances.
If President disqualifies the membership of 20 MLAs of Delhi government then bye-election will have to be conducted within 6 months.
By – Manas Bulchandani , Student Reporter