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A 69-year-old man knocked the doors of the Gujarat High Court seeking cancellation of salary and other perks given to MPs and MLAs on grounds of their ‘misconduct and behaviour with selfish motives’.

 The petitioner, Prabhudas Patel, who appeared in person before the court, annexed various newspaper reports with his petition to prove his point. He claimed that the MPs and MLAs declare before an election that they contest polls in order to serve the public but after the election, they only remain loyal to their parties and not to the people.

 Therefore, they should not be given salaries and other perks, he claimed. He further alleged that MPs, MLAs and ministers, in order to increase their salary, other allowances and pension, had constituted a joint committee which comprised of their own supporters, who had haphazardly suggested the salaries etc. in 1999.

Giving an example, he claimed, the word ‘companions’ in the Act, enabled hike of salaries of these public figures, which entitles whole family and countless relatives of the MPs and MLAs to have access to many facilities from the public’s money. He claimed that it was violative of the citizens’ rights.

 Patel claimed that if this class of people failed to discharge their duty as the representatives of the public, they should not be given salary.

 The first bench of the court comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice J.B. Pardiwala heard the petitioner and then queried as to what would happen if these people would not be given salaries.

‘If they are not given salaries, how would they earn their livelihood,’ the court questioned. If the MPs and MLAs are not given ‘good salaries’ there was likelihood of malpractice and corruption on a higher level which would be more harmful to the public.

 After some arguments between the petitioner and the bench, the petitioner sought for and was allowed to withdraw the petition.

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