Govt tells HC Tendulkar is qualified to be an MP

Additional solicitor general Rajeev Mehra says Article 80 of Constitution is not confined to science, arts, literature & social services.

New Delhi: The central government on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar “definitely” qualifies to become a Member of Parliament.

After hearing the submissions on a plea challenging Tendulkar’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha, a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw reserved its order in the matter.

Additional solicitor general Rajeev Mehra, appearing for the Centre, told the court that Tendulkar’s nomination to the Upper House is according to the constitutional provision which also allows induction of experts from the field of sports.

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The senior lawyer said the provision under Article 80 of the Constitution is not confined to inducting experts only from the fields of science, arts, literature and social services, but also from sports, education and other areas.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by a former Delhi MLA Ram Gopal Singh Sisodia, who challenged Tendulkar’s nomination, alleging that he does not possess any of the qualifications prescribed under Article 80 for being nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

A bare reading of the article makes it clear that the person to be nominated should have special knowledge or practical experience in matters like literature, science, arts and social service.

However, the submission was countered by Mehra, who said that art has consistently been considered synonymous to skill. He added that Tendulkar has often been referred to as the “master craftsman” as he has achieved excellence in his field.

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