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Sangma petition

New Delhi, Nov. 20: A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court today commenced hearing of the petition filed by former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma challenging the election of Pranab Mukherjee as President.

Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Sangma, argued that Pranab’s election should be set aside as he was holding an office of profit at the time. His holding the post of chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute and leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha invited disqualification, the lawyer said. Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Mukherjee, said the ISI chairman’s post was an honorary one and that of the leader of the House by no stretch of imagination an “office of profit”.