NEW DELHI, Sept 12:
An office of profit complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and a BJP MLA has been rejected by the Election Commission.
The Election Commission gave its opinion on petitions filed against the two complaining that they held an office of profit as members of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and drew pecuniary benefits.
The EC’s opinion was accepted by the President before whom the complaints were filed. The opinion has since been notified in the gazette.
The President decided that Sheila Dikshit and Karan Singh Tanwar, members of the legislative assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi, “have not become subject to disqualification on account of their membership of the New Delhi Municipal Council.”
Earlier, the Election Commission had concluded that the two cannot be said to be holding any office under the Government of India or the Government of NCT of Delhi within the meaning of Section 15(1) of 1951-Act.
“The Commission is of the considered opinion that both the respondents namely Sheila Dikshit and Karan Singh Tanwar, have not incurred disqualification under Section 15(1) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1951, for being members of the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, on account of their membership of the New Delhi Municipal Council,” the EC’s opinion to the President said.
The Commission stated that their appointment as member of the NDMC is automatic by virtue of law and the Government has no discretion in the matter of their appointment. It said neither the Government had powers to remove them nor the MLAs had any discretion to reject the same.
“Their election to the Delhi Legislative Assembly from an Assembly constituency falling within the NDMC area itself makes them ex-officio members of the NDMC,” the EC said.
The Commission did not go into the question of whether the two are deriving any profit by virtue of holding the office of member of NDMC.
“Any enquiry into such further question would be an unwarranted exercise on the part of the Commission under Section 15(1) of the 1951-Act, as the office held by them is not an office under the Government.
Holding that the two shall continue to be members of the NDMC so long as they are members of Delhi Legislative Assembly elected from any assembly constituency falling in the NDMC area, the EC said, “The Government has no discretion, rather no power at all, to remove them from that office.”
“The respondents too have no discretion or power to refuse to serve as members of the NDMC, or to resign from that office at their discretion, which are the essential attributes of appointment to an office,” the EC said. (PTI)
NEW DELHI, Sept 12: