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Punjab cabinet approves amendments to law on 'office of profit' to accommodate more MLAs

Chandigarh: In an apparent bid to accommodate disgruntled Congress MLAs, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday paved the way for them to hold several new posts without being disqualified under a law which bars lawmakers from occupying an 'office of profit'.

The cabinet, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, approved draft amendments to the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act 1952.

The amendments will protect the MLAs from disqualification if they hold certain posts, an official spokesperson said.

Amarinder Singh

File image of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. AFP

More exemptions have been approved to the categories of 'offices of profit' under
Section 2 of the Act, apart from the ones included in the original Act.

The Section 2 of the Act includes any office held by a minister (including the chief minister), minister of state or deputy minister, office of chairman, vice chairman, deputy chairman, state planning board, office of (each leader and each deputy leader) a recognised party and a recognised group in the Vidhan Sabha, office of chief whip, deputy chief whip or whip in the Assembly.

Besides Section 2 has been amended, to include the office of chairman or member of a committee, set up temporarily for the purpose of advising the government or any authority on a matter of public importance or for making an inquiry if the holder of such office is not entitled to any remuneration other than compensatory allowance.

This also include the office of chairman, director or member of any statutory or
non-statutory body, if the holder of such office is not entitled to any remuneration other than compensatory allowance.

After being denied a cabinet berth some Congress MLAs including Raj Kumar Verka, Randeep Singh, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Rakesh Pandey and Amrinder Singh Raja Warring expressed resentment on different platforms.

The amendments, aimed at addressing the complexities of modern day governance, include incorporation of a new Section 1A to provide for the definitions of "compensatory allowance", "statutory body" and "non-statutory body", an official said.

As per Section 1(A), "compensatory allowance" would mean any sum of money payable to the holder of an office by way of daily allowance, any conveyance allowance, house-rent allowance or travelling allowance for the purpose of enabling him to recoup any expenditure incurred by him in performing the functions of that office.


Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 10:20 AM

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