January 31, 2021 4:19:20 am
Congress MLA from Kalka, Pardeep Chaudhary, stands disqualified from Haryana Assembly following his conviction by a Himachal Pradesh court in a nearly a-decade-old case, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta Saturday said.
Chaudhary and 14 others were sentenced to three years in jail by a Nalagarh court in Himachal’s Solan district following his conviction earlier on January 14 in a case of assault, rioting and other penal offences, said Gupta.
“Consequent upon the conviction… under sections 143, 341, 147 of the IPC, Chaudhary…stands disqualified from the membership of Haryana Vidhan Sabha from the date of his conviction, that is January 14, 2021,” as per a notification issued by Vidhan Sabha Secretary RK Nandal.
The MLA has incurred disqualification under the provisions of section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, the notification added.
“Accordingly Kalka assembly constituency has fallen vacant with effect from January 14,” the notification further said.
A sitting MLA stands disqualified automatically under the provisions of section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 following his conviction in any offence entailing a jail term longer than two years.
Replying to a question, Gupta said Chaudhary can appeal in the higher court and whatever will be the decision of the court, we will act accordingly.
Section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People Act states that a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to a jail term longer than two years would stand disqualified from the date of the conviction and would continue to be disqualified from contesting any election for a further period of six years after his release.
On June 13, 2011, according to the prosecution, Chaudhary had “led an agitated mob and put a dead body in the middle of road, blocking the traffic demanding a murder case against the police personnel”. The mob turned violent, attacked police personnel and put-on fire at least two government vehicles.
The disqualification of its MLA has come as a blow to the Congress.
The party had been contemplating to bring a no-confidence motion against the M L Khattar government with the party’s senior leader B S Hooda recently saying that the BJP-JJP regime has lost the trust of the people, as well as some of the MLAs supporting the government.
A few days ago, lone INLD MLA Abhay Singh Chautala had resigned as MLA over the farm laws issue.
After Chaudhary’s disqualification, in the 90-member Haryana Assembly, the Congress now has a strength of 30 MLAs, with 40 MLAs belonging to the BJP, 10 to its ally JJP and one MLA to the Haryana Lokhit Party. Seven MLAs are independents with five of them, including Power Minister Ranjit Singh Chautala, support the ruling combine.
The simple majority mark in the House, which has a present strength of 88 members, has come down from 46 MLAs to 45 members now.
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