The Congress on Saturday demanded rejection of the candidature of AAP nominee N.D. Gupta in the Rajya Sabha election from Delhi on the ground he holds office of profit as a trustee of the National Pension System.
“(The) Congress has filed objection at scrutiny of AAP Rajya Sabha candidate N.D. Gupta,” Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken tweeted. He also posted his letter to the Returning Officer for Biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha from Delhi to be held on January 16.
Calling Gupta, a BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and GST supporter, Maken said he was appointed as the trustee of the government-owned Rs 1.75 lakh crore National Pension Scheme Trust on March 30, 2015 and “still holds this office of profit as on date. (He is) ineligible to contest”.
Three Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates — party leader Sanjay Singh, businessman Sushil Gupta and Chartered Accountant N.D. Gupta — filed their nominations on Thursday.
In his letter to the Returning Officer, the Congress leader said: “That with respect of the said nominations filed, the nomination of Narayan Dass Gupta is liable to be rejected under Section 36 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 read with Article 102 of the Constitution of India for holding an office of profit.”
The contributory pension system was introduced by the government on December 22, 2003 and it was made mandatory for pension benefits for government employees since January 1, 2004.
The pension scheme was converted into a trust and accordingly the trust deed dated February 27, 2008 was executed under the Indian Trust Act of 1882.
“Therefore, the NPS discharges a very important government function that of being the custodian of pensions of lakhs government employees. In other words, it was almost an extension of the Ministry of Finance and Department of Pension.
“Therefore the office of the Trustee of the NPS, which N.D. Gupta holds, is an office of profit which virtually discharges the functions of the government itself,” Maken said.
The former union minister said the office of a trustee is entitled to renumeration, emoluments, perks and other facilities.
The office is not protected under the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 and is directly hit by Article 102 of the Constitution, Maken said.