Disqualified Haryana Congress MLA Pradeep Chaudhary's membership restored

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Chandigarh, May 20 (PTI) Disqualified Congress MLA Pradeep Chaudhary's membership was restored, a month after Himachal Pradesh High Court stayed his conviction in a decade-old case, Haryana Assembly Speaker said on Thursday.

Chaudhary was disqualified, following his conviction in January this year, which was stayed on April 18 by Himachal Pradesh High Court.

Haryana Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said his membership from Kalka assembly seat was restored subject to the final outcome of the case.

Asked why it took a month, Gupta said they received the certified copy of the court order, a week after it was announced, and then the matter was referred for legal advice to Haryana Advocate General.

'Today (Thursday) itself, we received the legal advice and immediately acting upon it, the membership has been restored with effect from April 19,' he said.

Earlier, the Kalka seat had been declared vacant and a notification would now be sent to the Election Commission to restore Chaudhary's membership, according to a notification issued by Haryana Vidhan Sabha.

With restoration of his membership, Congress, which is in opposition in Haryana, has a strength of 31 MLAs in the 90-member House.

Chaudhary was earlier sentenced to three years in jail by a Nalagarh court in HP's Solan district, following his conviction on January 14 in a case of assault, rioting and other penal offences.

He had contended before the HP High Court that since he had challenged the conviction before the Appellate Court, the sentence awarded to him by the trial court should be stayed.

Chaudhary had incurred disqualification under provisions of section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People's Act, 1951, the notification said.

He had also met Gupta seeking restoration of his membership after the April 19 order.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had also written to the Speaker to restore Chaudhary's membership in the wake of the stay on his sentence. PTI SUN VSD MGA MGA

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