Guj govt increases list of office of profit under schedule

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Gandhinagar, Feb 29 (UNI) With a view to avoiding disqualification of MLAs, the Gujarat Government has increased the list of office of profit to ensure that an MLA of the state assembly shall not be disqualified.

A bill was passed by the Gujarat assembly with suitable amendments today. The amended Gujarat Legislative Assembly Members (Removal of Disqualifications) Act 1960 would allow office of Vice-Chairman, Director and Secretary of any committee or Statutory body appointed by the Central or State Government and also the office of Government deputy Chief whip and Government whip, who were not under the disqualification act.

According to Home Minister Amit Shah, the act specifies certain offices under the schedule and holder of which, if a person is chosen as or is already a member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, he shall not be disqualified as the member of the assembly.

Leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil said the government should also have included chief whip of the opposition party and the status of Minister of State should have been conferred upon him. However, the house finally passed the bill with appropriate amendments.

Earlier, the bill on the removal of disqualifications of MLAs was introduced by Minister of State for law, Amit Shah.

While, yesterday, Gujarat assembly passed another important bill for amendment in the Registration Act which would make the registration of power of attorney compulsory.

According to the government, in the absence of provisions for compulsory registration, attempts were being made to evade the payment of proper stamp duty and forged documents of property were also being made.

While introducing the bill in the house, Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel said the compulsory registration would not allow anybody to forge the documents and usurp properties.

According to her, power of attorney would be registered at the registrar office with Rs 15 as fee.

However, leader of opposition Shaktisinh Gohil opposed it on the grounds that compulsory registration would lead to hardships of the people in rural areas.

''It will bureaucratise the system of power of attorney. Some builders may misuse it to evade stamp duty and make forged documents. In fact, the government should have created other mechanism to check the misuse,'' he said. However, the bill was passed by the Assembly with a voice-vote majority.

UNI MP SR AE KP2306

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