ָ (֟) : ָӛ ֳ ֤ ֛ ֺ , ָָ ֮֓ ָ ־֮Ը ן ״ֻ և, ָӛ פ ֲָօ ָ ָ ֣ , ִ ָ ױ ֟ , - ָ Ͼ֌ ֮ ߻, Ͼ֌ ֵ֟ ֵ֮ פ ָ Ϥ ִ֕־֤ ֙ ָָ ׻֋ ײֻ ֵ ֵ , ײֻ ֕ ֲ ָ Ϥ ׾֬׵ ײֻ ֵ ֵ, ֵ֮ ߾ ֮֓ ׻֋ ײֻ ֮ ֺ ֲ ߾ , ֛ ָ ֣ ֋, ֯ ֋ ֤ ן ֮֕ן և և ֻ֕֯ ß֟ ֮ ӡ ֮־֤ ӳ־֟: , ָ֕ ߅ ..(־֮֬).. , ֺ ֛߅ Ͼ֌, ֛ ָ֓ ֟ ֻ, ֯֜ ֤ , ֮ ״ֻ֟ , ֲ ߴ֟ ֵ֮ ߅

, ֲ ָ Ϥ ׾֬׵ פ, ֻ֕֯ ß֟ ֲ ֵֻ֛ ֟ և, ֲ ָ 111 ֟ ֤ և, ֲ ׾֬׵ ֻ֕֯ ־ ֟ ֤ ևԅ ߚ-ߚ ә - , ֮ ָӛ פ , ָ ָ Ϥ פ օ ן ֟ ֯ , ֯ ֤ ߴ և ָ ֯ ׌ ו֮֟ ֮ ׻֋ ן ֟ ָ , ֟ , Ӭ, ֵ ֿ ֟ , ֵ֮ ׸ ָ ֯ ֟ և ִ֯ӣ, ֮ ֢ ֮֓ ׻֋ ߙ ֮֓ ׻֋, ׾ֵ֕ ׳ , ֻ ס֯ ֮֕ ֤ ֲ ֋ ִ֯ӣ, ָ .. (־֮֬).. ײָ , ֯ ָ֟ ? ? , ָ֮֬ ..(־֮֬)

ֳ֯ן , ָ ׸֟֠ , ß־ ׸֟ ߴ ֳ֣ , ׻ֵ , ֳ ׻ֵ , ֳ ֟ ӛ ߚ ߅ ߴ ןִ ׮Ե ֵ ו֮ ֤ ׻ֵ , ֳ֣ ߴ ׯ֔ ׮Ե ߴ ןִ ׮Ե ? ָ ָ ׾׬־ ֣ ֟֋ ָ ָ ׾׬־ ֣ ֟֋ , ֮֟ , ֟ ִ֣Ԯ ֕ ןš ֲָ ׮ָָ ֮ ֻ ߟִָ ִ , , ִ֣Ԯ ִ ׻ ֳ ֤ - ׮ֵ״֟֟֋ Ӆ ִ֟ ֕ ׸֟ ײֻ ֟ ֮֟ ֕ ײֻ ֳ ״ֻ, ן ׻֋ ֛ ݻ׮ ִ ן ״ֻ , ֮ ֺ ֤֯ ֮֮ ֻ , ָ ָ ߕ ָ Ϥ , פ ָ ףֵ ָ ָӛ ֟ פ ָ, ָ ףֵ ָ ָ Ϥ ֟ פ ָ, ָ ֤֯ ֮֕ן օ ֛ ָ ֮ ֛ ֣ ׻֤׮ֵ ִ , ֵ ִ ֛ ׻֤֮ ֳ ֤ ֵ , ... 2/ ָ ..


ָ (֟) : ֮֕ן ן־֤ ֟Ԯ , ן־֤ ֱ ٴ ֤ , ֮֕ן ֤ ן־֤ ׾ָ -- , ֳ ֤ ֻ, ׻ֱ , ֮֕ן ֙״֕ , ֤ ־֮ ֮֕ן , ׾ָ , ֛ ָ ֮ , ߕ ֮֕ן ףֵָ ָ ßֻ Ӥ, ֧ ֮֕ן ׾ָ , ָ ֮ , ֣, ן ִ֣Ԯ ײֻ ִ֣Ԯ ֮־֤ (ִ֯)

ߟִָ (׿ִ ֻ) : ֳ֯ן , և ָ ֮ ֤ ֱ ֓ , וָ֯ ֮

׾ ֤ : ֯ ײֻ ן ֮֟ ?

ߟִָ : ן ָ ։, ־ֻ ָ ..(־֮֬)..

Sir, I rise to support this Bill on behalf of my party. I support the way which we had done last time when the Bill came for consideration. But on the last occasion as well we did put a caveat for our support and I repeat that caveat which, I think, has become more relevant now with the Presidential reference and the points that the President of India has asked us to consider. And, this caveat concerns the fact that there is a need -- I repeat and underline -- for us to unambiguously define what is an office of profit. This has been a lacuna that has remained with us all these decades which needs to be corrected. Therefore, I would support this Bill with an assurance from the Government that there should be a Parliamentary Committee that will go into all these details and draw up an unambiguous list so that it can be applicable across the country and in all positions and that is something that must accompany with the passage of this Bill. And that, I think, will also meet, to a large extent, what the President has also sent in his reference to us.

But, Sir, various issues have been raised regarding the Constitutionality. I do not wish to go into that, because, I think, legal luminaries have debated that issue. But, I can only say, as Member of Parliament, I think, Article 102 of the Constitution is very, very explicit. It asks the Parliament, by law, to define which are offices of profit and which are not. So, I think, on that basis, the Constitutionality is not really issue. But, I somehow, ֯ ֟ ו , ָ օ פ ׾֬ ֱֻ , ֲ ן ֟ ֟ ָ ֤֯ ֯ ָӛ פ ߓ ֟ ߅

פݾֵ֕ : ָӛ ׻֋ ֱ

ߟִָ : ֱ ֮ ֤֯ ..(־֮֬)..

פݾֵ֕ : פ ֤ ֛ ָӛ ׾֮֬ ֳ ֛ ?

ߟִָ : ־ֻ ֕ ָָ ֤ ӑ֮ ֯

פݾֵ֕ :

ߟִָ : ־ֻ ֲ ן ֯ ֟ ֤֯ , We hold the President of India and the institution in very high respect. All of us do. We have to. I mean, that is a part of the system. But, wasn't that the office of the highest Constitutional authority -- to quote what Mr. Jaitley was talking about -- when President K.R. Narayanan asked for stoppage of genocide in Gujarat....(Interruptions)...Was any respect shown to him then? ...(Interruptions)...Today, you talk of...(Interruptions)...

SHRI DIGVIJAY SINGH: Where is the letter? You prove it ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY: I am raising this issue not to score points. I am raising this issue to state that there has to be a certain degree of consistency when you speak and talk of points of principles. There has to be consistency when you talk of this law being misused in order to save the Jharkhand Government. There has to be consistency when you hold in respect the office of President of India; the same consistency must be shown. (CONTD. BY USY "2U")


SHRI SITARAM YECHURY (CONTD.): So, don't change your principles according to your parties and politics. That is the appeal that I have. Let us all stick to these positions of principle and on that basis let us advance and work for the well being of the country and its future. In that background, I want to bring in this point that various issues have been brought...(Interruptions)

׾ ֤: ֯ ײָ ָ ...(־֮֬)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, please let the debate go on. (Interruptions) Please. (Interruptions)

. ִ ӛָ: ײָ ֋֋ ...(־֮֬) ָ ִ ...(־֮֬)

ֳ֯ן: ӛָ , ֯ և ...(־֮֬) ֋ כ ֻ , ֻ֮ ו֋

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY: Sir, if I may continue, there have been allegations that my party is very interested to save the faces behind these posts; and, in order to face these faces we are in a great hurry to bring this legislation today, and, therefore, we have delayed the discussion on the Mumbai blasts. All of us have gone through the debate, I don't want to say that. We have, in fact, in the BAC, stated that the issue of Mumbai blasts must come before and got it listed yesterday. And, why the discussion could not be completed yesterday, all of us know that. I am not going into that. So, don't trade charges like this. That is not the issue. Everyone of us, sitting here, know that 31st is the day by which the Election Commission has asked for replies. Yes, it's a quasi judicial body; it has to serve notices; listen to these MPs. So, nobody is going to be disqualified on 31st. There is no great hurry to brought in this before the 31st. Nothing is going to happen on 31st. But the hurry was the respect to the hon. President of India that you have raised yourselves. (Interruptions) That's it. (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Jaitleyji, please....(Interruptions)

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY: No. In fact, I am upholding that. You were not here in the House, when I said that. I am upholding the reference that he has made. He has asked for an unambiguous definition that will be applicable universally. That is precisely what I said last time, when I was speaking on this Bill. And, this is precisely what I am repeating now. That is the caveat that we urged the Government that along with the passage of the Bill, that announcement will have also to be made for the mechanism to work out so that we draw these definitions. I am very happy that Marx was quoted from that side. It's actually a little enlightening. But the quotation is also in the wrong context. I will also come to that in a while. We want to go on record, I said this earlier and I am saying it again that we do not see any contradiction between holding some of these posts as well as being a Member of Parliament. That is my party's political position. As Members of Parliament, I think, some of them, will have to discharge other responsibilities to provide relief and service to the people. They will have to occupy some post. That is why I do not see anything objectionable in that. Here, the cases have been to save the faces. He said that profit is the motive. Our colleague, Shri Matilal Sarkar, is here. He is the Chairman of the Tripura Village and Khadi Industries Board. Why did we decide that a Member of Parliament should be there? It is our party in the State Government. But, why did we decide, coming all the way from the North-East? Tripura is a small State, which has a small budget, which does not have its resources. They do not want to depute another person and pay for his entire charges for every month coming here. Instead, they said, and we said, that we would use our MP for that purpose. It is not profit, it is loss involved there for somebody else. It is not an Office of Profit, it is an Office of Service. (Interruptions) And, let me tell you...(Interruptions) I will come to it, Sir. (Interruptions) It is an office of service. (Interruptions) Yes, even the Shanti Niketan. I will come to the principles...(Interruptions)

SHRI N. JOTHI: What about Tripura.... (Interruptions)?

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jothi, please....(Interruptions)

SHRI SITARAM YECHURY: Not bus fare. As Mr. Amar Singh said, you were not here, we are not paid for speaking, you may be. So, it is not bus fare. So, don't ridicule us. (Interruptions) If a person has to travel from Agartala to Delhi every month, if you compute, it is a substantial relief we can provide to the people of Tripura by duplicating our MP in that post. We provide relief to the people of Tripura. Therefore, in principle, we do not think this is wrong. (Contd. by 2w -- VP)


SHRI SITARAM YECHURY (CONTD.): And, Mr. Moinul Hassan is here. He is also Chairman of the Small Industries Development Corporation. If you talk of the conflict of interest, this disqualification comes from two counts or possibilities. It is that while holding these posts they are able to influence voters, thereby, they are doing a wrong thing. Therefore, they will be liable to be disqualified. But, this would come under the Election Petition Law. That is a separate thing. The other conflict of interest is, as a Legislature, their job is to keep the Executive in check. Therefore, it should not be subservient to the Executive. That is the conflict of interest that arises in these positions. By being Chairman of this Small Industries Development Corporation in Bengal, how is he becoming subservient to the Executive here? Therefore, when you talk of these principles, then, you talk of the tangible issues involved. ...(Interruptions)... You cannot really club all these things and, somehow, try to portray that all these people are violating the Constitution, they are profiteers, and they are people who are immoral. If that sort of a logic has been brought about, then, I think, it is extremely unreasonable and incorrect. If you really want to now talk in terms of actually resolving this conflict of interest, I would like to raise this issue and I want this august House to debate this point. Does the conflict of interest between the Executive and the Legislature arise only when the Legislators hold Government positions? Does it not arise when they hold private positions or corporate positions? For instance, in the United States if you are a Senator, then, till the term of the Senator, you cannot be on the Board of Directors of any corporate. Must we not, today, discuss that issue before us? Can we have professionals, who as Members of Parliament, can appear on behalf of somebody at the Bar? I am not opining on it. I am raising that issue. If you are talking of morality, you have to talk about all these issues. ...(Interruptions). . . We have to talk about all these issues. Therefore, I want an empowered committee to go into these issues. . . .(Interruptions)... And, then, let us define, for India, for Indian morality, for the sake of upholding our morality, unambiguously, which are the positions, both in private and public sectors and the corporate world that Members of Parliament should not hold. We should prepare a list that these are the offices of profit that cannot be held by Members of Parliament and only then we will be doing justice to the query that the President of India has sent us. So, I am urging this House ...(Interruptions). . . Let us do it now. That is my caveat. ...(Interruptions). .

Sir, I am only concluding by making this request to the Government that 'yes', we are for the passage of this Bill. Please, let me assure my friends in the Opposition -- we have shown in the past too -- that the only thing is that if we are disqualified, we will come back elected with a greater number of votes. Don't you worry about it. ...(Interruptions). . . We don't believe it. I have told you in plain English that I don't consider these as offices of profit. I consider these as offices of service. And, I say this, and it is on that basis I am making my position. You may disagree. You have the right. Please do it. But the point is, whether I am right or not, whether my interpretation is right or not is not the law. The law has to be made. The definition has to be made. Let us now announce that a committee will make this definition, and, drop this unambiguous definition so that in future this problem may not occur. This is only a one-time solution. This cannot be a permanent solution and let us work for that permanent solution. With this caveat, I support this Bill. (Ends)

SHRI N. JOTHI (TAMIL NADU): Sir, we have heard about Executive arrogance. We have heard about Judicial arrogance. I have experienced it. Now I am seeing ...(Interruptions). . . Please, Sir. ...(Interruptions). . . Now, I am seeing Legislative arrogance. It is nothing but Legislative arrogance in this Bill. Sir, what are the Objects and Reasons? ...(Interruptions).... Let us see the Objects and Reasons. ...(Interruptions)..... What are the Objects and Reasons?

(Continued by 2X/PK)


SHRI N. JOTHI (CONTD.): The object and reason is: 40 or more Members will have to demit their office and there will be 40 vacant seats in both Houses of Parliament. Sir, it necessitates by-elections. It will involve wasteful expenditure, unnecessary financial burden; so, let us legislate this. This is the plain reason. This is what has been said in the Statement of Objects and Reasons. Austerity is the main reason, and nothing else. You want to safeguard some money to the public exchequer. Sir, I tell you the reasons. Please cut short your foreign trips; you can save money. Please cut short your office expenses; you can save money. Please cut short your public addressings, showing ugly faces; you can save more money. Cut short your medical treatments abroad. * Sir, the real reason, you say, is, "we want to save some money to the public exchequer"...(Interruptions)..

THE MINISTER OF OVERSEAS INDIAN AFFAIRS (SHRI VAYALAR RAVI): Sir, that man is no more...(Interruptions)...

SHRI A. VIJAYARAGHAVAN: Sir, that man is no more...(Interruptions)..


* Expunged as ordered by the Chair.

SHRI N. JOTHI: No, this is the reason. This is the reason that has been given. Please read the Bill. These are the reasons given in the Bill. Mr. Vijayaraghavan, please read the Bill. Sir, this is the only reason given, and, nothing else. If that be the reason, why have you brought this Bill at all? You can have austerity measures and cut short your expenditure. Don't make advertisements in newspapers...(Interruptions)..

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: You illegally occupied Siruthavoor lands and made money...(Interruptions)..You had acquired dalit lands.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Shunmugasundaram,, please...(Interruptions)..

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, I don't want these unnecessary interruptions...(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Shunmugasundaram, please cooperate, because, yesterday....(Interruptions)...

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, the real reason is available in the schedule. The reason is identification of persons in the schedule. There are as many as 18 West Bengal MPs belonging to the Left Party. Without them, this Government can't go. Without them, the Government can't be run. So, they are helping the Congress people to run the Government. So, reciprocally, the Congress people want to help them to retain their seats...(Interruptions).. Sir, this is the real reason...(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Let the Tamil Nadu politics not come into this.

SHRI N. JOTHI: I am sorry, comrades...(Interruptions).. Sir, the neo-comrades, the neo-marxism made them to beseech this kind of a favouritism from the ruling party and have 18 people to be saved. This is the real reason. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI MATILAL SARKAR: We can always come back...(Interruptions)..

SHRI N. JOTHI: Please come back. Go and come back. Go first, then we will see how you come back...(Interruptions)... Go first....(Interruptions).. First, you go...(Interruptions).. Good riddance..(Interruptions)..The country will say, good riddance. Go. If you go, the Government will also go...(Interruptions).. The Government will also go. The country will be saved. Sir, let me be very serious in the matter. Sir, let us be very serious in the matter. The things are quite clear. There is a term called in law, res ipsa loquitor. Things speak for themselves. From the very names indicated, the very offices identified here, it is as if without these people the world will not survive, the country cannot survive. The parliamentary democracy will not be for ever. So, these people should be there for ever. They should be safeguarded, even at the behest of the public opposition. Even at the opposition of Parliament democracy, they should be retained here. I am sorry to say that we have reached this level. We have reached so low level which the President of India is good enough to unite us. Please be careful. Please be cautious. I am delegating this matter back to you. Please think twice before passing it. As I said, the arrogance of the legislation, this arrogance of the ruling party has, once again, brought the Bill in the same fashion thereby throwing the challenge on the President. They are challenging the President's authority. The President has given counselling to you in a good manner.

(Contd. by PB/2Y)


SHRI N. JOTHI (CONTD.): You are not interested in taking it. You are not interested in it. The whole Cabinet sat through and passed this saying that 'we will not amend even a single word of it; we will retain every thing.' This is the respect you show to the President of India!

Sir, a friend in Congress Party has said that 'President has no option, except to assent this Bill under Article 111.' ...(Interruptions)... I am sorry, Sir, that this has been done like this. ...(Interruptions)... I am giving you the reasons. We are going to witness it shortly. ...(Interruptions)... I feel the President of India who hails from Tamil Nadu is a good man like us. We are having conscience in our heart. We know how to react to a particular situation. We are humble and simple, and we are not arrogant. ...(Interruptions)... I hope the President will definitely refer this Bill to the Supreme Court of India for its expert opinion. In such a situation, where will you all go? What will happen to all of you? In such a situation, this Sarkar will necessarily have to go; come back if possible. Sir, let us not challenge the President. I appeal even to the Treasury Benches that let us not challenge the President. You should accept his advice. You should honour his feelings. These are the feelings of the whole country. He is reflecting the feeling of the whole country. The country has said, please have a re-look at it. But you are not interested to have a re-look at it.

Sir, the AIADMK Party wants to disassociate itself from doing this kind of exercise, which is anti-public.

Sir, I see eternal reason to oppose this Bill. There is another flaw in this Bill. The flaw is, you are not identifying the office. You are identifying the person. To safeguard that person, you want to enact law. This is the problem with this Bill. You want to safeguard 'x', 'y' or 'z' person, and then you are identifying the office and saying that 'we are exempting it'. Is it fair, Sir? Will it pass the test of law? Will the President give his assent to it? Will the public approve this? Will the court approve this?

Sir, a few months ago, while opposing this Bill, I gave three reasons. The President has also agreed to all those reasons and sent this Bill back. Please understand this. The same reasons still persist. The same reasons still persist. Sir, the public is watching us. But still you want to pass this law. Why, Sir? It is because you want to run the Government in an unholy manner, in a tainted manner. The Comrades are very unhappy. They have to go back to their constituencies. They now have to again make public speeches and shout slogans and all that. They are not sure whether they would come back or not. And, if they go back, this Government will fall. ...(Interruptions)... So, to have political adjustments, they are saying, 'you help me and I will help you; we will share the booty; we will share the booty.' ...(Interruptions)... No problem, Sir. No problem. The public is with us. Don't worry. The public is with us. Here, you may pass this Bill. ...(Interruptions)... Here you may pass this Bill. ...(Interruptions)...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jothi, please address the Chair. ...(Interruptions)... As an Advocate, you have the practice to address the Chair. ...(Interruptions)...

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, this is not the first time that they are doing it. Sir, I am not surprised by this. ...(Interruptions)... Sir, the Congress Party is not doing this for the first time. They are doing it traditionally. This is their habit. Whenever a person is in trouble, in deep trouble, they will bring a legislation. The best example is, when their Prime Minister lost an election petition and the matter was pending in the Supreme Court, they brought as many as eight amendments in 1975. Mr. Bhardwaj knows it very well. At that time, he was there at the helm of affairs. Sir, as many as eight amendments were brought in. Several new legislations were brought in to safeguard one person, to safeguard one person -- the Prime Minister. (Contd. by 2z/SKC)


SHRI N. JOTHI (CONTD.): This is their legacy; this is the system of working of the Congress Party. This is what they do. So, it is no wonder, when comrades beseech them saying, 'please, help us', they are ready to help them, because this would please the comrades and help them to run the Government for a few more months. But, Sir, please, remember, the world is watching you; more so, the public is watching you. You are answerable to the public. You may stay here comfortably for a few more months ...(interruptions)... or a few more weeks, but you have to go back to the public. You have to go back to the public! As Mr. Jaitley rightly said, in the debates on the electronic media, more than 90 per cent of the people who participated in the debate said that this kind of Bill was wrong. What is the great public motive in this, Sir? What is the great public motive in this? For which public purpose are you doing this? Will the prices come down? Will the per capita income of people go up? Now, what is the purpose of this legislation? It is to cling on to power, mutual power sharing adjustment to cling on! I am sorry, Sir, we dissociate ourselves from this and strongly disapprove this. (Ends)

DR. P.C. ALEXANDER (MAHARASHTRA): Sir, I have no intention to go into the validity of the constitutional issues connected with this Bill. Learned lawyers by their profession, but who are eminent Members of this House, in their own capacity as Members, have produced the arguments for and against.

I had no intention to go even into the moral issues involved. But, after listening to the esteemed leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the House, I am tempted to speak only on the moral issues. He seems to be inventing arguments in support of Members of Parliament occupying offices of profit. But he forgets that the very basic principle of democracy, which we practise in our country under our Constitution, is, the separation of powers. He must have been a student of Politics. I know that he was a student of Politics and he must have learned the textbooks of Montesqueue about Separation of Powers, and I am astonished to hear him say that today you can save money on TA by appointing somebody as Chairman of the Corporation or you could nominate a person, for convenience sake, to hold two or three posts. If we accept that as a theory in democratic administration, it will destroy democracy in our country, because our democracy is based on the principle that Executive, Judiciary and Legislature should function in their respective spheres, without one being able to show favour or patronage to anyone else and without one interfering with the jurisdiction and responsibilities of the other. If we question these fundamentals, then we will have to go in for a new Constitution! With this Constitution that we have adopted, I am afraid, we cannot accept the basic principle, which has been used by Mr. Yechury to support this Bill.

I am not against this Bill. But I wish to point out that, at least, we must resolve ourselves, take a resolution on this occasion among ourselves, that we will rectify the mistakes that had been committed in the name of creating more and more offices of profit. There has to be a legislation like the Act of 1959, because in a Parliamentary democracy, we have to exempt the Ministers, Leaders of Opposition, Whips and Chief Whips, and exempt them from the operation of this. There may be a justification to exempt a few more categories of people in our system of democracy and give them the right to continue in such offices. But the intention of Article 102-1(a) was that they should give exemptions. The rule is that you cannot occupy executive posts while you are a Member of Parliament or a Member of the Legislature. (Contd. by 3a/hk)


Dr. P.C. ALEXANDER (CONTD.): Exemption is provided because Ministers have to be exempted; whips have to be exempted. Certain positions you have to consider for Members of Parliament or Legislature out of sheer necessity. But what we have done? We have made the exemption a rule and the number of people who have been exempted, both at the State level and the Central level, runs into about 400 or 500 offices and each office has been recognised or justified for some reason or the other which was not intended by Article 102. So, the first resolution that we should give ourselves is, at the earliest opportunity we must rule down these offices of profit. Limit it to the barest minimum number and then we have to recommit ourselves because that will be by recommitting ourselves to the basic cardinal principle of separation of power. I would go even a step forward, that is, in the new Act we must introduce a legislation, a clause in the legislation, that not more than 4 per cent or 5 per cent of the number of Members of the Legislature should be allowed to occupy offices of profit, other than those contained in the Schedule. In other words, there will be a restraint on the part of the Legislature in multiplying offices of profit. Again I would suggest that there is a perception in this country, Sir, that we, Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislature, are out to grab any post that is available in this country, not necessarily for salaries because many of us do not care for salaries, but all of us often care for positions of power or influence. These are positions of power or influence. Why not allow others to take such positions? We are happy in the position of being an MP. There is enough work to do for an MP. An MP has to nurse his constituency. He is a Member of half a dozen committees, very important committees. Several Members of Parliament do not attend these committees because they may be Chairmen of corporations, or running Khadi and Village Industries boards. Whatever may be the reason, if we devote our full time as an MP or an MLA, we will have no time for extra job. Second point added to that is: Why not encourage those in our own parties to occupy these positions? That is one way of building up leadership in this country. Allow them who are members of our own parties to occupy some of these posts. Let them also lead this. But we try to monopolise everything for ourselves and that is why we have lost the respect of the people and they consider us as people using every opportunity to enhance our power and our influence and, therefore, I would earnestly plead that we will pass this Bill and I would support the Bill but I want a commitment from the Law Minister, when he will reply, that within a specified time he will bring in a legislation fixing the number of posts that can be covered under the exempted rule and making sure that whatever posts are available are allowed to be occupied by others who may be more qualified than many of us. Let us not arrogate to ourselves as Members of Parliament having entire experience of the world necessary for manning these posts. When we look at these posts, what is the justification for having only an MP or an MLA for posts like Chairman of the Wakf Board or Chairman of the Village Industries Board, or to be President of the Maulana Azad Education Foundation, or to be Chairman of the Indian Council of Sports, or to be Chairman of the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority or Hooghly Bridge Authority. There are dozens of people equally qualified as we are. Let us give them a chance. Why do we think that we, MPs, are to have all that power? 'The kingdom, the power and the glory is mine.' (Contd. by 3b/KSK)


DR. P.C. ALEXANDER (CONTD.): Why do we appropriate that status of God that we are competent to have everything? Therefore, I would request the hon. Minister to come forward with a legislation limiting the number of posts which can be exempted. Otherwise, we will go on violating the rule. We tried 15 per cent rule on Ministers as the strength of the Council. But, I know three or four State Governments which have appointed Parliamentary Secretaries in dozens and they have been given all the powers of Ministers. So, we find that we make a mockery of legislation. Somehow or other, we must ensure that the number of posts eligible to be exempted is limited to the barest minimum. I would also want to end by saying that even though the Law Minister said in his preliminary remarks that there need not be uniformity, this is the responsibility of States; they themselves can do. But, we made a legislation curtailing the power of the State Governments also after 15 per cent rule. Like that, we can think of ways and means to ensure that State Governments are also restrained. Otherwise, there is no point only in restraining the Central Government in the matter of holding Offices of Profit. We should think of a legislation which will cover the States, lay down criteria which would be of uniform applicability, both for Centre and States and ensure that our Constitution works in theory and in practice. We, as Members, have taken the oath on our admission to the Membership of the Legislature of undertaking the responsibility of not violating the Constitution through loopholes, but plugging the loopholes and maintaining the sanctity of the Constitution. With these words, I support the Bill, but with the earnest hope that the hon. Minister will give an assurance openly in the House in the concluding remarks that he will bring a legislation to plug these loopholes. (Ends)

DR. BIMAL JALAN (NOMINATED): Thank you, Mr. Deputy Chairman, Sir. I just want to make three or four points. First is about the role of Parliament. I believe this is, probably, the most momentous day in 59 years of Parliamentary history. There were two or three occasions when the Bills had been returned by the President of India, but I cannot recall a discussion on the memorandum which was sent by the President of India to this House. So, this is a very solemn, momentous occasion. Therefore, I rise to speak and the first point I want to make is about the role of Parliament.

Sir, we heard a lot about the separation of powers. Dr. Alexander just mentioned it. Mr. Jaitley also mentioned it. But, Sir, I believe that it is all a myth. There is no longer any separation of powers except at a time when the Government has to be formed. It is a very important point and, therefore, I am making it in the presence of the Leaders of this House that once the Government is in power, the Executive decides what will happen. You see it in this Bill. You have seen it on March 18 to March 22 when what you saw happening in Parliament, I mean, I could not have believed that it was possible. You decided that the Parliament would be adjourned sine die. Then, you reconvened Parliament. It was decided that the Standing Committees would not consider the Budget. But, then you decided that the Standing Committees would consider the Budget after being passed in Parliament. You decided to pass the Finance Bill without discussion within three or four days. I did not even know that it was being discussed on that day. So, it is a very important occasion for us to deliberate and think about the role of Parliament. There is a thing called anti-defection law which was passed in 1985 by 52nd Amendment of the Constitution, and then amended further in 2003. Now, what does that anti-defection law do? We say that all of us are sovereign; all of us are great; all of us are fantastic; all of us are independent. But, say, there are half-a-dozen people on this and half-a-dozen people on that side who differed with the view of the party on the Presidential reference to this House, what would they do? They can't do anything. It is as good as taken that even if this Bill, whatever it said, whether it was Constitutional or unconstitutional, it is going to be passed by this House.

(continued by 3c)


DR. BIMAL JALAN (CONTD.): So, Sir, let us deliberate on this issue that, at least, voting on the references from the President, should be exempted from the Anti-Defection Law. But it is not. You can take it for granted that the Bill, as it is, -- whether it is good, whether it is bad -- is going to be passed by this House at the end of the day. Yes, you can call for a division. But on a Presidential Reference, it is not the Parliament which decides as to what will be done, it is the Executive which decides as to what will be done. It does not matter which is the Executive. We have a very good Executive. We have had very good Executive. But this is an issue which is central to the role of Parliament, the diminishing role of Parliament, the diminishing role of the Members of Parliament. I don't belong to any political party. So, I can defect, I can vote against or for. But none of the Leaders, none of the other Members have this particular option, even on a Presidential Reference, which could be vital to the country. Sir, the Presidential Reference here we are considering is not an issue or matter of national security.

THE MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE (SHRI H.R. BHARDWAJ): Sir, this is not a 'Reference'. It is a 'Message'. I may just inform you.

DR. BIMAL JALAN: I take your point, Sir. (Interruptions)

SHRI H.R. BHARDWAJ: You are a responsible Member of Parliament. There is a difference between a Reference and a Message. For example, the British Queen transacts business through References, our President sends Messages, which we have to discuss.

DR. BIMAL JALAN: Sir, I beg your pardon. But, Sir, will you tell me how many times...(Interruptions)... Sir, I beg your pardon. I did not know. Will you tell me how many times has this House discussed a message from the President, the Head of the State? How many times has it happened? Does it violate the simple point that I am trying to make? I am not an authority; I used the wrong words. But the importance of the occasion cannot be denied, and, that is what we are trying to do. I beg your pardon, Sir. Please forgive me. How many times in the 59 years of India's parliamentary history, have you discussed a message from the President of India, the Head of the State? How many times, Sir? The President of India, a distinguished scientist, is one of the foremost citizens of our country. How does this...(Interruptions)

SHRI H.R. BHARDWAJ: Once again, I request, let us not bring the President into...(Interruptions) You cannot bring..(Interruptions)

DR. BIMAL JALAN: Sir, in 59 years of India's democracy..(Interruptions) The point that I am trying to make is...(Interruptions)

SHRI C. RAMACHANDRAIAH: But, we are discussing whose...(Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Ramachandraiah, please. (Interruptions)

DR. BIMAL JALAN: It is not an occasion. It is not an important occasion. Let us say. It is only a Presidential message. It is not an important occasion. But, Sir, I do not accept that, with due apologies. I have greatest respect for the Law Minister.

Sir, the second point that I wanted to make is-- and I want to refer it to the Leaders of the House -- what is this separation of powers, what is this role of Anti-Defection Law, the role of the Members, independents, all the big words that we use? Do they mean anything? The Party Leaders decide as to what will happen, the Parties decide as to what will happen, that's it, and, that will happen today, as you will see today.

Now, the second point I wanted to make about the Bill is-- and, I would like to take the point of Dr. Alexander -- what the Constitution says is that you cannot hold an office of profit. But you can certainly hold an office of non-profit. I am using the words, 'profit' and 'non-profit' as mutually exclusive. Therefore, if you want to say that an MP should not hold any office, then you have to amend the Constitution and say that he should not hold any office. So, the issue here is 'profit' and 'non-profit'. And, I believe, it is a matter of discussion whether he should hold an office or not hold an office. But the real issue is defining as to what is the office of profit, or, on its contrary, what is the office of non-profit, which we have not done. Now, if I look at the list of these offices, none of these offices seem to me to be office of profit, prima-facie. But, we have not defined it. We have not defined as to what is the office of non-profit. I would have hoped that this particular occasion will be taken to define that 'office of profit', and, I know, it has been said in the Press that we don't know what it is like negligible, what is not negligible. But, we know what is an office of non-profit. I had taken some sort of certain courage of suggesting to the Law Minister as to how to define it. (Contd. by 3d/sk)


DR. BIMAL JALAN (CONTD.): My disappointment with the Government, with due apologies to the hon. Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers, is that the President's reference, a reference message for a re-consideration with arguments, came seven weeks ago. So, this seven weeks of time could have given us some time to deliberate on this issue and hopefully, come up with a solution which the CPM is now asking for or the other Members are asking for in the mean time. And that would have been the response that I would have expected, that I would have hoped for. But, so far as the offices themselves are concerned, it is a bad Bill because it exempts specific offices. Waqf Board, it may be in one State but not in another State, but there is no question in my mind that many of these things are probably not offices of profit but offices of non-profit. The problem is, not defining it in 59 years of India's independence. And I would have hoped that rather than presenting the Bill as it is, because it happens to be a message from the President of India, that we would have deliberated on it during that period, given some cognisance to the points made by the hon. President and come up with a Bill which would have resolved the kind of issues that the leader of the CPM or the speaker on behalf of the CPM is today asking the Congress to do. We had seven weeks of time. Why it could not be done in these seven weeks, which can be done in the next six months, I do not know. And, if more time was necessary, I would have hoped there would be an introductory thing that we need more time and, therefore, we have come up with this * solution to a problem, which is not of national security, which is not of great national importance. But, yes, I mean, where it is consequential, I don't mind it being exempted.


* Expunged as order by the Chair.

So, Sir, I just wanted to make these three or four points. When all things have been done, when this Bill is passed, as it is going to be, when the Parliament is going to assert its sovereignty by passing the Bill, which it may or may not like, I hope that in future we will not have to face this kind of an occasion at least for another sixty-five or sixty years. Thank you. (Ends)

SHRI RAM JETHMALANI (NOMINATED): Thank you, Mr. Deputy Chairman. Sir, I must confess that I speak with a total sense of futility. I know that this Bill has been passed by both the Houses before. It is going to be passed today. It will receive the compulsory assent of the President, as is required by the Constitution. It will inevitably meet the gauntlet of the Supreme Court, and, of course, the gauntlet of the court of the people...

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jethmalaniji, one minute, please. Mr. Bimal Jalan, you have used the word * . It is unparliamentary. I am deleting it.

SHRI RAM JETHMALANI: What is so unparliamentary about the word *? ...(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: No arguments please. ...(Interruptions)..

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: Words when they are used in a particular context...(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I have verified it. There is a good precedent.

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: Sir, I may be permitted to say this. ...(Interruptions)..

SHRI RAM JETHMALANI: It doesn't matter. He will use a synonym hereafter. ...(Interruptions)..


* Expunged as order by the Chair.

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: Words used in a particular context may sound unparliamentary, but in another, it may not be unparliamentary. So, 'there is a * public opinion' cannot be unparliamentary.

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: I agree, Mr. Jaitley. I have verified it. Precedent is there in the same context.

SHRI ARUN JAITLEY: Last time, Sir, I used the word * on the Constitution'. The word * was deleted as unparliamentary. If I call somebody a * , it is unparliamentary. But, if I say * on the Constitution', that cannot be unparliamentary...(Interruptions)..

MR. DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Let us not debate on that, please. Please carry on Mr. Jethmalani.

SHRI RAM JETHMALANI: But, Sir, even though I speak with a sense of futility, I think, it is a very, very important occasion today. I am not a constitutional historian, though I must admit that I am a very humble student of the Constitution. As far as my memory goes, this is the first time in the history of our Parliament that a Bill passed has been returned by the President under Article 111 of the Constitution.

(Contd. by 3e)


SHRI RAM JETHMALANI (CONTD.): That itself lends some special significance to what is happening today in this House. Sir, the second aspect of the same matter is that it is the President of India, who, by convention and in some cases by law, is bound by the aid and advice of the Cabinet, has decided to refer this matter back to Parliament, knowing fully well that both the Houses of Parliament have passed it. Why has the President done it? He has done it not because he has any constitutional power in that sense. But his power is really moral and


* Expunged as order by the Chair.

spiritual. He represents the conscience of the whole nation. He overrides the consideration of legal sovereignty. His sovereignty is of a totally different kind. Sir, I heard some light-hearted reference with the distinction between 'pad' and 'chehra.' But, Sir, no 'pad' is important unless the 'chehra' on it, or behind it, or over it is a person of great moral stature. 'Pad' and 'Chehra' cannot possibly be bifurcated. Sir, the post of the President of India is important because it has been habitually occupied by men of great calibre, whose views are of great importance, and whose views required to be considered with great reverence.

Sir, I don't accept the charge of Mr. Jaitley that there is something very immoral or underhand or unconstitutional in the manner in which this matter is being brought before the House. I don't accept many of the charges which Mr. Jaitley has made. But, Sir, I have one charge of which I cannot acquit the Government. And that charge is that we have not paid sufficient attention and reverence to the message which we have received from the President. Sir, why I say this, I must make it clear. Every political party in this country has a quest in this Bill. In a sense, every political party is a beneficiary of this Bill. They are not forced beneficiaries, but, as my great friend, Amar Singhji, confessed with his usual candour and humility, he is a beneficiary of this Bill. Sir, we are all beneficiaries of this Bill. I may not be, but because all friends and political parties surrounding me are, I cannot dissociate myself from them. I am also a beneficiary in that sense. Therefore, Sir, we have no reason to speak in terms of morality. We are all dyed deep with a heavy paint of immorality and let us acknowledge that fact and then

proceed to justify this Bill and deal with the comments which the respected President of this country has made.

Sir, we all swear by the Constitution, and I believe that our reverence and fidelity to the Constitution requires that when you are caught napping and found guilty of a breach of the Constitution, you must gracefully accept the consequences of the breach of the Constitution.

Sir, I may have been a critic of the Congress Party, I may have been a critic of many Congress Presidents, but I wish to repeat a tribute, which I paid before on the floor of this House, that the present President of the Congress Party is the only person who has acted with great constitutional commitment and propriety. She resigned, and she went through the heat and labour of an election during the hot months of April and May. She got a complete respite, a new certificate of good conduct and commendation from the people of this country and came back with honour and re-occupied the position which she vacated at a time. (Followed by VKK/3F)