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Being AIIMS president no basis for disqualification: Anbumani

Tuesday 29 August 2006

Legal Correspondent

Tells EC he holds position in ex-officio capacity as Minister

Post of president of AIIMS is not office of profit Covered by provisions of Section 3 of Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act

New Delhi: Union Health Minister A. Ramadoss has informed the Election Commission that no disqualification is attracted by virtue of his holding the office of president of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in his ex-officio capacity as Minister.

Responding to the notice issued by the Commission on a petition filed by Omesh Saigal, a retired IAS officer, Dr. Ramadoss said, "Article 102(1)(a) of the Constitution provides that offices which are declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder would in fact protect Members of Parliament from being disqualified as holding an office of profit."

He said the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 was enacted "to declare that certain offices of profit under the Government shall not disqualify the holders thereof for being chosen as, or for being, Members of Parliament."

He said that under Section 3 of the Act "any office held by a Minister, Minister of State or Deputy Minister for the Union or for any State, whether ex-officio or by name" would come within the purview of exemption from disqualification.

Covered by Act

He asserted that he was covered by the provisions of Section 3 of the Act as he held the office as the president of the AIIMS in his ex-official capacity as Minister by virtue of a nomination by the Central Government under Section 4(e) of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Act, 1956.

He maintained that he was not entitled to any allowance or other remuneration though he could draw travelling and daily allowances. Hence the office of president AIIMS could not be stated to be an office of profit.

He said "for smooth, coordinated and efficient functioning of the Governmental functions, the office of the Minister under Union or State is specifically excluded from the ambit of `office of profit’ by law." Accordingly, his nomination as a member/president of AIIMS ought not to be considered as holding an office of profit, he said, and sought dismissal of the complaint that has been forwarded to the Commission by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

See online : The Hindu

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