New Mayor seeks leave from DU, Cong may challenge election

New city Mayor Rajni Abbi has filed an application for leave from Delhi University in a move to deflate the opposition campaign against her on office of profit issue.

New Delhi: With the Congress contemplating
moving court to nullify her election, new city Mayor Rajni
Abbi has filed an application for leave from Delhi University
in a move to deflate the opposition campaign against her on
office of profit issue.

"The new Mayor has already submitted a leave application
from DU for the period she will serve as Mayor. She had also
taken permission from DU for working as councillor in 2007,
just after she was elected to Municipal Corporation of Delhi,"
Leader of MCD House Subhash Arya said.

The BJP leader maintained that there was no illegality in
Abbi holding the office of Mayor despite being a professor in
DU Law Faculty. The first-time councillor from Mukherjee Nagar
was elected as Mayor at an MCD meeting yesterday but Congress
raised objections, claiming that her post in DU is an office
of profit and that it may challenge her election.

Leader of Opposition J K Sharma cited a clause in the DMC
Act which says that a person can be disqualified as councillor
if he or she holds "an office of profit". "We are taking legal
advice and may move court," Sharma said.

Article 102 and 191 of Indian constitution says that a
person can be disqualified as MP or MLA "if he holds an office
of profit under the government of India or the government of
any state." However, there is a provision to exempt some
offices and the governments have used it often.

Asked about the issue, former Lok Sabha Secretary-General
and constitutional expert Subhash C Kashyap said each case of
office of profit will have to be decided on merit.

"There are some offices which have been exempted by law.
It will have to be seen whether it comes under that. Secondly,
office of profit is an office under the government... 100 per
cent government control or financed. Again, even if there is
no salary but the office has executive or appointing powers or
the allowances are not nominal, it might be seen as an office
of profit. So each case has to be decided on merit," he said.

Abbi has maintained that the office of Mayor is not an
office of profit as she will not be getting salary and she can
hold both the offices as she had taken permission from DU for
working as councillor.

The Delhi Mayor does not get any salary but enjoys perks
like a bungalow and a car for the one-year tenure.

"This is not a breach of law, this is not illegal. I know
the law," she said, adding that DU post does not come under
office of profit as the university is an autonomous
institution.

PTI

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