President Ram Nath Kovind rejects a petition seeking disqualification of 27 MLAs of Aam Aadmi Party

President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected a petition seeking disqualification of 27 MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for allegedly holding ‘office of profit’ by being appointed as chairpersons of Rogi Kalyan Samitis (RKS) attached to various government-run hospitals in the Capital. The decision was based on a recommendation by the Election Commission of India (EC) in July 2018, which stated that office was exempt from purview of ‘office of profit’ under provisions of the Delhi MLAs (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997. The Office of Profit is a position in the government which an MLA or an MP can’t hold. The post can yield salaries, perquisites and various other benefits. As per Articles 102(1)(a) and 191(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution, MP and MLAs are barred from holding an office of profit as it can put them in a position to gain financial benefits. Even under section 9 of the Representation of People Act (RPA), holding an office of profit is grounds for disqualification.

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