Chatterjee evades comment on Amarinder’s expulsion

September 21st, 2008 - 8:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Sep 21 (IANS) Former Punjab chief minister and senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh’s recent expulsion from the Punjab assembly on corruption charges seems to have caught Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee in a bind on the legality of the action.Chatterjee, known for his forthright views on most issues, tried to wriggle out when mediapersons asked him about Amarinder Singh’s expulsion. The speaker was here to inaugurate the 73rd meeting of presiding officers of legislatures.

“Please don’t ask me (about the expulsion). The matter is now sub-judice,” Chatterjee said.

“It is not a question of the previous or present house. The question is whether his (the legislator’s) conduct relates to his role as a member of the house.”

Amarinder Singh was earlier this month expelled from the Punjab assembly after a probe by a house committee found him, his ministers and others involved in favouring a private builder to allot prime 32 acres of land worth millions of rupees in Amritsar city in 2004.

The former chief minister, elected from the Patiala assembly constituency, was expelled from the assembly for the remainder three-and-a-half year term of the house.

The assembly speaker later wrote to the Election Commission of India asking for the seat to be declared vacant.

Amarinder Singh has challenged his expulsion in the Punjab and Haryana High Court but has not been granted a stay so far.

Asked if Amarinder Singh could come back in the same assembly from where he has been expelled after getting re-elected from his constituency, Chatterjee evaded the issue, saying: “I cannot comment on this.”

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