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Rajya Sabha referee sneaks out to play

Rajya Sabha referee sneaks out to play

Author: B V Shiva Shankar
Publication: Mid Day
Date: April 5, 2008

Introduction: Rehman Khan appears at Congress press conference and violates the Constitutional rule that presiding offers remain apolitical

Rajya Sabha' deputy chairman K Rehman Khan violated the spirit of the Indian Constitution by attending a party meeting yesterday.

Propriety demands that presiding officers - speaker, deputy speaker, chairman, and deputy chairman of the house -- stay away from party politics. Rehman Khan sat with Congressmen and discussed strategy for next month's elections.

Bad example

Clause 5 of the 10th Schedule says a person elected as presiding officer can rejoin the party once he ceases to be a presiding officer.

Rehman Khan participated in a Congress election co-ordination committee chaired by former chief minister S M Krishna.

He also made suggestions on how the party could combat the BJP and appeared at a press conference after the meeting. "I can't say it is violation of rules, but it sets a bad precedent," said A K Subbiah, senior politician and legar expert. "Rehaman Khan shouldn't have done this."

Rehman Khan said he participated in the meeting as he was a member of the election co-ordination committee, and the rules were only meant for the speaker and the chairman of the house.

"I am only a deputy chairman and I think the constitutional binding does not apply to Me." he said.

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