Governor cannot ‘sit over’ Election Commission’s opinion

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has clarified that the Governor of Manipur cannot delay proceedings on the opinion of the Election Commission (EC).

  • Recently a petition is being heard by the Supreme Court. The petition pertains to the delay in the decision of the Governor of the state on the disqualification of 12 MLAs of Manipur who are allegedly holding office of profit in an unlawful manner.
  • It is noteworthy that the Election Commission had sent its recommendations to the Governor on January 2021 itself.
  • The office of profit is not defined in the Constitution or the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RPA). But various courts have interpreted it as a specialized office with certain duties, which are almost public in nature.
  • The gist is that the legislators are allowed to perform their duties independently without any liability towards the present government.
  • In addition, the Supreme Court’s observation refers to such an office as an office of profit, if it includes the following criteria, namely, that he is an authority appointed by the government, the government has the power to cancel the appointment, or Remuneration has been fixed etc.
  • In addition, the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 lists several posts which have been exempted from disqualification.
  • In Article 102(1) and Article 191(1) of the Constitution, a provision has been made to prohibit an MP or MLA from holding any office of profit under the Central or State Government.
  • Further, under RPA, 1951, holding of office of profit is a ground for disqualification.

Source – The Hindu

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