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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Q. Office of Profit: Discuss on the ongoing issue of office of profit.
Jun 15, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

An office of profit is a term used to refer to executive appointments. Indian constitution bars members of the legislature from accepting an office of profit under the executive. The objective of this is to secure the independence of the legislature and preserve the separation of powers.

In Indian context-

  • According article 102 (1) (a) and article 191 (1) (e) of the Indian constitution bars members of both houses of Parliament and state assembly/council for holding any office of profit.
  • According to above articles a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament/state assembly if he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament/respective assemblies by law not to disqualify its holder.
  • The Parliament (prevention of disqualification) act, 1959 and several assemblies acts exempt holders of various offices from the mischief of the office of profit law.

Previous cases-

  • In 2006 Sonia Gandhi resigned from Lok Sabha after the issue of office of profit was raised. (She was holding chairmanship of National Advisory Council). Later the prevention of disqualification act was amended in 2006 to add the position of NAC chairperson to the list of exempted posts.
  • Jaya Bachchan was disqualified from the Rajya Sabha, while she was also chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Federation.
  • Two Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly members (Bajrang Bahadur Singh and Uma Shankar Singh) were disqualified in 2015 due to holding government contracts.

Present case-

  • Last year Delhi Government has appointed 21 of its assembly members as parliamentary secretaries to various ministries.
  • Delhi state does have any specific law that can exempt parliamentary secretaries from the purview of office of profit. It is violation of constitution, hence those 21 MLA’s are facing fear of disqualification.
  • To rectify this error last year Delhi assembly has passed a bill to exempt parliamentary secretaries from the ambit of office of profit and disqualification retrospectively. The bill was referred to President, to which President refused to give his assent.
  • Now the issue is in front of Election Commission, it will give its order once its enquiry gets over.

Analysis-

  • The definition of office of profit is not clear in the India context. According to rulings of court, any executive posts other than those exempted by law are office of profit.
  • Article 164 (1) (A) of India constitution restricts that number of ministers that government can have. According to this provision only 15 % of total strength of Lok Sabha or state assemblies can be made ministers in the respective governments.
  • In recent times, there is sharp increase in misuse of executive posts for political reasons. Many times to pacify members of Parliament or Assemblies are appointed to various executive posts.
  • Even laws were amended to suit the political interests of the time. Hence such practice needs to curbed. There need to maintain constitutional ethos of separation of power.
  • India should follow the British model, which declares executive post as office of profit or not at the time of establishment of new office only.

Conclusion-

The objective behind the office of profit is to maintain purity of separation of power that constitution envisages. Hence political parties in India needs to stop misusing the executive posts and should uphold concept of separation of power in letter as well as spirit. Only in those cases laws should be amended when there is dire need of that.


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