Jailed Himachal lawmaker’s plea to attend assembly refused

Chandigarh, Feb 3: The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday turned down the plea of Himachal Pradesh Congress legislator Ram Kumar Chaudhary, who is behind bars for murder charges, to attend the ongoing state 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.”

Chaudhary had claimed that he has an indefeasible right to attend the session commencing from Feb 3.

He argued that he was compelled to absent himself from four sessions. Referring to constitutional provisions, Chaudhary added the House may declare the seat vacant, on account of his absence for more than 60 days without permission.

Chaudhary is one of four suspects in the murder of a 24-year-old woman in Panchkula in Haryana Nov 22, 2012.

A first-time legislator from Doon in Solan district, he is the son of four-time Congress legislator Lajja Ram.

IANS