New Delhi: A parliamentary committee has held that Trinamool Congress MP Anupam Hazra cannot be disqualified under the office of profit rules as he is not holding such an office by being an assistant professor of Visva Bharati University.
"The Committee is of the considered opinion that Dr Anupam Hazra as a Member of Parliament (MP) does not hold an office of profit by holding the office of an Assistant Professor at the Visva Bharati University and hence does not attract any disqualification for being a MP under Article 102(1) of the Constitution of India," the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit said in its report.
The article, among other things, says that a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as an MP in any House of Parliament if he holds any office of profit under the government of India or of any state.
The issue came up before the joint panel after the TMC MP from Bolpur in West Bengal, who is a PhD in social work, wrote to the Speaker this January saying that though he was an MP, he was interested in continuing his teaching profession and "if there was a legal bar, he was ready to forego his salary as an MP".
The report, tabled in Parliament today, observed that "the office under Visva Bharati University is not an office 'under government' and at the most it is an office 'under other authority' within the scheme and meaning" of the Constitution.
It also said that Hazra could hold both the offices of MP and an assistant professor at the university as "under Article 102(1)(a), the office of Assistant Professor does not qualify as an office of profit under the government."
Since the government "has no executive control" over the post of assistant professor, "there is no conflict of interest in the discharge of the MP's duty towards the nation," the report said.