Maharashtra election commissioner set free from jail

March 28th, 2008 - 8:47 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 28 (IANS) State Election Commissioner Nand Lal was Friday released from two days’ simple imprisonment at the Arthur Road Jail here, a day after the Maharashtra legislative assembly in an unprecedented move jailed him for wilful contempt of the house. Coming out of the jail after 17 hours’ detention, the angry senior bureaucrat said he would challenge the decision of the house in court.

But the assembly Friday resolved not to take cognisance of the election commissioner’s petition or reply to any notice it might receive from the court or his lawyer.

The lower house of the state legislature sent Election Commissioner Nand Lal to two days’ civil imprisonment Thursday for not appearing before the privileges committee or sending replies with his signature in a case of breach allegedly committed by him in spite of 10 reminders.

Assembly Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar referred a breach of privilege notice against Nand Lal, moved by Congress legislator Janardan Chandurkar, to the privileges committee in April 2006. Committee chairperson Chandrakant Chhajed tabled the panel report before the house and recommended seven-day imprisonment to Lal on Thursday.

The issue arose from Nand Lal’s action of announcing the schedule of local self government bodies’ election in 2006 through a special notification despite the government advise not to do so as the elections are supposed to be conducted in accordance with the law framed by the state legislature.

After his arrest Thursday, Nand Lal termed the house verdict as “political vendetta” and reiterated his charge that he was being punished for not succumbing to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s pressure to not declare Latur assembly constituency (his hometown in Marathwada) as one reserved for the Schedueld Castes during the delimitation exercise in 2006.

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