Masood disqualified from RS

Masood disqualified from RS

Masood disqualified from RS

Congress leader Rashid Masood on Monday earned the dubious distinction of being the first Member of Parliament to be disqualified following his conviction in a corruption case.

The Supreme Court, in a verdict on July 10, mandated immediate disqualification of lawmakers convicted of criminal offences punishable with a jail term of more than two years.

As per the notification issued by the Rajya Sabha on Monday, 66-year-old Masood has been disqualified for the period of his sentence and for a further period of six years since his release in terms of the existing Section 8 of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951.

Masood, who was Minister of State for Health in the V P Singh government between 1990 and 1991, was held guilty of fraudulently nominating undeserving candidates to MBBS seats allotted to Tripura in medical colleges across the country from the central pool.
Masood was convicted in the case by a Delhi court on September 19. On October 1, he was sentenced to four years in jail. He stands disqualified from the date of his conviction- September 19.

Lok Sabha members Lalu Prasad (RJD) and Jagdish Sharma (JD-U) are also facing the axe as the Lok Sabha secretariat is completing the legal formalities in announcing their disqualification. Prasad and Sharma have been convicted in the fodder scam cases. The Lok Sabha Secretariat had sought the opinion of the Attorney General on how to proceed if a higher court grants relief to Prasad and Sharma.

In a bid to negate the Supreme Court verdict, the UPA had introduced a bill in Parliament which could not be considered due to differences among political parties.

Later, the UPA government decided to promulgate an Ordinance on the lines of the bill but it ran into rough whether following strong opposition from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who termed it “complete nonsense”.

Within a week, the government was forced to eat crow. It decided to withdraw the Ordinance, thus leaving politicians like Prasad and Masood to their fate.

President Pranab Mukherjee had also questioned the government’s decision on the ordinance.

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