M A I N   N E W S

Jaya Bachchan loses RS seat
Amar Singh also faces EC action
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Cine-star and Rajya Sabha member Jaya Bachchan has been disqualified by the Election Commission as Member of Parliament for holding office of profit as Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Corporation.

In another blow to the Samajwadi Party, the President, Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, has referred a complaint to the poll panel demanding disqualification of Mr Amar Singh as MP, as he was holding office of profit as Chairman of the U P Development Council.

The Election Commission has sent its recommendations to Dr Kalam, who had sought an opinion based on the complaint filed by Mr Madan Mohan, a losing Congress candidate against Jaya Bachchan in the election from Uttar Pradesh. Mr Mohan has filed a similar complaint against Mr Amar Singh.

Under the Constitution, the President decides whether a sitting member has incurred disqualification in consultation with the EC. Article 102 (1)(a) bars an MP from holding any office of profit under the Government of India or in any state other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder.

Experts were of the view that the President is bound by the EC recommendation, which is notified in the official gazette.

However, the Rajya Sabha member of the Samajwadi Party has threatened to move the Supreme Court against the disqualification. Jaya Bachchan alleged that "the complaint has come from the Congress party. It is a shame that people like us are not allowed to sit in Parliament," Jaya Bachchan said accusing the political rivals of small mindedness.

Pointing out that she was a recipient of Padma Shri award while her husband Amitabh Bachchan was a Padma Bhushan like his father Harvanshrai Bachchan, Jaya said she had not "grabbed" the Rajya Sabha seat from anyone.

The Commission had in October last year issued notice to Jaya Bachchan, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha on a Samajwadi Party ticket, on a complaint that she was holding an office of profit and hence should be disqualified from Parliament.

The Election Commission had acted on a reference from the office of the President.

EC sources said that the Commission had sent its opinion last week after hearing the candidate and following due process.

The UPFDC chairmanship confers cabinet rank perks. She was elected to the Upper House in July 2004 on a Samajwadi Party ticket.

Jaya Bachchan had earlier informed the EC that her post in the UPFDC was not an office of profit and the council was purely advisory board and had not taken any salary or honorarium for her services.

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