Disqualified Hry Cong MLA Pradeep Chaudhary meets speaker, seeks restoration of membership

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Chandigarh, Apr 26 (PTI) Former Haryana Congress MLA Pradeep Chaudhary, who was disqualified following his conviction by a Himachal Pradesh court in a decade-old case, met Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta here on Monday seeking restoration of his membership.

During his meeting with the speaker, Chaudhary said the three-year sentence awarded to him had been stayed by the high court.

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

'A court in Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh had earlier sentenced Pradeep Chaudhary for three years. Today, he gave a certified copy of Himachal Pradesh High Court order. He has also given representation seeking his membership be restored,” the speaker told reporters after his meeting with Chaudhary.

'I will also go through the judgment, Secretary Vidhan Sabha will also go through it and it will also be sent to the state's advocate general for legal opinion. After examining the judgment and after getting legal opinion from the AG, accordingly we will take the next step,' Gupta said when asked if the former MLA's membership will be restored.

According to reports, Chaudhary had contended before the high court that since he had challenged the conviction awarded by the judicial magistrate, Nalagarh, before the Appellate Court and till the pendency of the appeal, the sentence awarded to him by the trial court should be stayed.

Allowing his plea, the court had stayed the sentence awarded to him.

After Chaudhary's conviction, the Kalka seat was declared as vacant from January 14 and a notification was also issued by the Haryana Assembly secretariat in this regard.

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.

The assembly speaker had then said that Chaudhary can appeal in the higher court and on the basis of the court's directive, they will decide accordingly.

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

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.

After Chaudhary's disqualification, in the 90-member Haryana Assembly, the Congress' strength came down to 30 MLAs. PTI SUN VSD SNE