19 Apr : The Congress on Sunday welcomed the decision of the Election Commission, which by a majority opinion has rejected the demand for disqualification of Sonia Gandhi as a Member of Parliament for receiving a foreign award.
"We welcome the EC’s decision. The EC decided to clear Sonia themselves. We were not approached (by the EC)," senior party leader Kapil Sibal said.
Earlier, the Commission by a 2-1 vote, overturned the incumbent Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami’s view that an enquiry was necessary to go into the complaint against Gandhi receiving the ‘Order of Leopold’, the second highest civilian honour in Belgium, given to her during a visit to that country in November 2006.
Election Commissioners, Navin Chawla, who will succeed N Gopalaswami on Tuesday, and S Y Quraishi overturned the incumbent CEC’s view, highly placed sources said today.
The Commission’s view has been sent to President Pratibha Patil for her final decision.The controversy arose out of a petition from a Kerala advocate who had sought the disqualification of Gandhi for accepting the Belgian honour.
Under the conduct of business rules in the Election Commission, in case of difference of opinion among the three commissioners, the majority view will prevail.
In this Belgian honour case, the view of the two Election Commissioners may prevail over the CEC’s view.