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Disqualified Goa MLAs can attend House

J. Venkatesan

Supreme Court admits petition Bench says they can sign the register but cannot enjoy voting rights or salary

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday admitted special leave petitions filed by two disqualified MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party from Goa.

They were challenging a judgment of the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court unseating them on the ground that they were holding `offices of profit' at the time of contesting the May 2002 polls.

A Bench, consisting of Chief Justice R.C. Lahoti and Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan, allowed D.R. Madrekar and R.V. Ariekar to sign the register and attend the Assembly but without voting rights or salary.

``File response''

The Bench asked Nationalist Congress Party members C. U. Chodankar and Jose Philips D'Souza, on whose petitions the election of the BJP MLAs was set aside, to file their response to the SLPs. Mr. Mandrekar and Mr. Ariekar were Chairmen of the Khadi and Village Industries Board and the Goa State Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation.

``Not entitled to benefits''

They said the High Court failed to consider that remuneration or any other benefit involving an element of profit or pecuniary gain should be attached to an office of profit and the holder should be entitled to the benefit.

As Chairmen they were not entitled to the benefits, which the High Court held them enjoying.

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