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Petition seeking disqualification of VK Malhotra rejected

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) The petition seeking disqualification of senior BJP leader V K Malhotra as a Lok Sabha member for allegedly holding an office of profit has been dismissed.

The Election Commission today said the petitition has been rejected with the consent of President A P J Abdul Kalam.

Earlier, the Commission had, in its report to the President, ruled as untenable the complaint filed by a local advocate, Anubhav Anand Aron, who had alleged that Mr Malhotra was holding the office of President of All India Council of Sports from July 2002 to July 2004.

The EC said it was well settled under Article 103(1)of the Constitution that the jurisdiction of the President to decide the question of disqualification of a sitting MP would arise only in disqualifications incurred after election as a member.

''The petition does not contain any allegation, whatsoever, that Mr Malhotra was appointed to this post at any point of time after his election to the Lok Sabha in 2004,'' the EC said.

Further, the EC clarified that it had ''no jurisdiction'' to express any opinion on the question of such alleged pre-election disqualification.

Prof Malhotra was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha from South Delhi in the April/May 2004 polls.

''The present petition is, therefore, not maintainable before the President'', it said.

Earlier, the commission had disqualified Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member, Ms Jaya Bachchan, triggering a spate of resignations including by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

The President had in all forwarded similar complaints against as many as 43 MPs, including Union Ministers, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and a number of Chief Ministers and over 200 MLAs from various states including Punjab, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh.

UNI SN/SU JN DS1502

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