No time frame set for poll panel ruling on office-of-profit

August 14th, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday refused to fix a time frame for the Election Commission (EC) to decide on complaints it has received against members of parliament for allegedly holding office-of-profit. An office-of-profit is a position that brings to the person holding it financial gain, advantage or remuneration.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar refused to pass any order, stating that EC has to first verify the facts of the complaints, which may take some time.

“You are under a wrong impression that the Election Commission is supposed to act immediately after getting a complaint against a member of parliament. If the reference has been made without giving details, then the commission has to find them out which would take time,” the bench said.

The court’s remark came on a public interest litigation J.K. Jain has filed alleging that the commission was biased in favour of some politicians while handling such complaints.

“In some cases, the commission forms the opinion in a day as happened in the Jaya Bachchan case while in other cases it takes months to take action,” Jain contended.

The Election Commission, however, refuted the allegation and said it took seven months to decide on the complaints filed against Jaya Bachchan.

“After Jaya Bachchan’s case, we have been flooded with such complaints from all over the country. We have got hundreds of such complaints. In some cases we just receive one letter without any documents to substantiate the allegation,” said counsel for the commission, adding that it takes time to verify the facts.

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