Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has described the Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify 20 of its lawmakers for holding ‘office of profit’ as ‘unconstitutional. An office of profit is a term used in a number of national constitutions to refer to executive appointments.
A number of countries forbid members of the Legislature from accepting an office of profit under the Executive as a means to secure the independence of the Legislature and preserve separation of powers.
The term is used in Article 102 (1) (A) of the Indian Constitution. which bars a member of the Indian Parliament from holding an office that would give its occupant the opportunity to gain a financial advantage or benefit. It refers to a post under Central/State government that yields salaries, perks and other benefits.
The actual amount of profit gained during the violation has no bearing on its classification. India had the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1950, 1951, and 1953 exempting certain posts from being recorded as offices of profit.
All these Acts were replaced by the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959. By virtue of Section 3 of the said Act, certain offices did not disqualify their holders from being members of Parliament.
The law was again amended in 2006. Earlier, under pressure from the opposition, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had to resign from a few posts. Jaya Bachchan had also met the same fate and was even disqualified from Rajya Sabha. She was acting as the chairperson of Uttar Pradesh Film Development Corporation.