Court declares five Haryana lawmakers as unattached (Lead)

December 20th, 2011 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Dec 20 (IANS) Five Haryana legislators, who defected from the Haryana Janhit Congress to the ruling Congress in November 2009, will now be deemed unattached members in the assembly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court said Tuesday.

The court also ordered that the five legislators will not hold office till the Haryana assembly speaker decides upon the plea seeking their disqualification from the assembly under the anti-defection law.

Two of the defector legislators, Sat Pal Sangwan and Narender Singh, are cabinet ministers in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, holding important portfolios like health and revenue, respectively.

Two other ex-HJC defectors who joined the Congress, Vinod Bhayana and Zile Ram Sharma, too were accommodated by Hooda as chief parliamentary secretaries. One more HJC defector, Dharam Singh, had not yet been offered any office.

“These ministers and chief parliamentary secretaries will have to resign immediately. They will not hold any office till the disqualification petition against them is decided by the assembly speaker,” lawyer and former MP Satya Pal Jain, who filed the petition on behalf of HJC president Kuldeep Bishnoi, told IANS here.

The asked Haryana assembly speaker, who has been hearing the disqualification petition filed against the defector legislators since November 2009, to decide the case by April 30 next year.

With the court’s order on the defector legislators, the Congress has been reduced to a minority. In the 90-member assembly, the Congress numbers have been reduced to 41.

However, the court judgment was unlikely to have any implication on the stability of the Hooda government as the Congress has the support of seven independent legislators, three of whom are ministers and three are chief parliamentary secretaries.

The five defector HJC legislators, who have been declared unattached now, were also likely to continue supporting the Congress.

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