Jailed Himachal legislator gets assembly nod for absence
The Himachal Pradesh assembly Thursday allowed jailed Congress legislator Ram Kumar Chaudhary, who is facing murder charges, to absent himself from the ongoing assembly session.
Deputy Speaker Jagat Singh Negi informed the assembly that he has received Chaudhary's request to allow him to remain absent from the budget session from Feb 3 to 21.
Later, the house, in absence of the opposition Bhartiya Janata Party, allowed his request.
Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Feb 3 turned down his plea to attend the assembly session.
Dismissing his plea, the court observed: "It will be inappropriate to exercise the discretion under constitutional provisions to grant permission to an accused of a serious offence to attend the parliamentary session solely on the foundation that he enjoys exclusive privilege to participate in the proceedings of the house to meet the constitutional obligation."
The first-time legislator from Doon in Solan district had claimed that he has an indefeasible right to attend the session.
He argued that he was compelled to absent himself from four sessions. Referring to constitutional provisions, Chaudhary added that the House may declare the seat vacant, on account of his absence for more than 60 days without permission.
Chaudhary, the son of four-time Congress legislator Lajja Ram, is one of four suspects in the murder of a 24-year-old woman in Panchkula in Haryana Nov 22, 2012.
(Posted on 06-02-2014)
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