Punjab amends law on ‘office of profit’ to accommodate MLAs

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Chandigarh, June 27 (IANS) To dodge the ruling of various courts on the issue of lawmakers holding an office of profit, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday paved the way for MLAs to hold several new categories of office of profit by approving some amendments to the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act 1952.

The amendments will protect the MLAs from disqualification in certain additional cases of office of profit, apart from the ones included in the original Act, an official spokesperson disclosed after a Cabinet meeting here.

The move will allow legislators in Punjab to hold high offices in boards, corporations and other bodies under the state government.

The Congress party, which has been running the government in Punjab since March 2017, has 78 legislators in the 117-member Assembly. But only 18 of them, including the Chief Minister, hold ministerial berths.

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This has led to a lot of discontent among Congress legislators who could not make it into the Amarinder Singh cabinet.

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”, the spokesperson said.

Various high courts have come down on lawmakers for holding office of profit. Twenty one lawmakers of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi were disqualified by a court last year for this.

–IANS

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