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What does the term Office of Profit mean?

Written by: Staff

March 23, 2006: What do we mean by the term 'office of profit'? The definition of office of profit: "Any position, other than political, to be filled by election or nomination for which he draws a government salary."

The term office of profit has made an impact quiet fast. As Jaya Bachchan, MP, Samajwadi Party wanted to take the issue to court while Amar Singh was on the verge of resigning as member of Rajya Sabha. However, the Parliamentary Board of Samajwadi party refused to take his decision.

This time under Damocles sword is Sonia Gandhi. The Congress President quit her position as an MP in Rae Bareli and Chairperson of NAC (National Advisory Council). Due to the ordinanance raised by the Opposition over her posts.

Nevertheless, many Members' of Parliament have been accused of holding office of profit while being an MP. Among the 40 accused include Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee.

Under the Prevention of Disqualification Act, 1959, the Parliament has listed out the offices, which do not disqualify. On a similar note, the States too maintain a list of posts that do not disqualify. Thereby, contributing to the confusion over the actual definition of office of profit is and the posts that disqualify under it.

Interestingly, the term 'office of profit' has no mentioning in the Indian Constitution. However, the Supreme Court revealed certain procedures defining the term. The Supreme Court says that the government has control over either removing someone from office or appointing him/her. If the holder of office of profit post draws salary from the government other than a compensatory allowance, he/she has administrative and executive powers as well.

On the other hand the Indian Constitution also authorizes Parliament and State legislatures to declare or announce posts that do not fall under the office of profit category.


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