After being thrashed in recently concluded MCD elections, there is some relief for Aam Aadmi Party as the Election Commission has given clean chit to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in office of profit case.
In a recommendation sent to President Pranab Mukherjee recently, the Commission has said that Sisodia cannot be disqualified as an MLA for being Deputy Chief Minister.
The Commission said several states have posts of deputy chief minister and it cannot be construed as an office of profit.
“He cannot be disqualified on this ground. The recommendation has been sent to the President,” a Commission functionary said.
To a question, he also pointed out that the President has “no discretion” on the issue and is “bound” by the recommendation of the poll watchdog.
Last year, a BJP leader, Vivek Garg, had approached the President with a petition seeking disqualification of Sisodia.
As per laid down procedure, the matter was referred to the Commission.
The Commission is already hearing two separate cases related to office of profit concerning AAP MLAs. While the first case related to 21 MLAs is in the advanced stage, the other related to 27 legislators is in the preliminary stage.
Article 102(1)(a) of the Constitution makes the holding of an office of profit by a member of Parliament or a legislative assembly or legislative council a ground for disqualification from the membership.
The disqualification is the result of breach of the theory of separation of powers between the executive and the legislature.