Punjab and Haryana High Court today set aside the order of Haryana Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Sharma accepting the “merger” of five members of Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) into Congress in 2009, terming it as “hasty” and “bad in law”.
In his 57-page verdict, Justice K Kannan, while allowing the writ petition filed by HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, held that the five legislators stand disqualified but added that any decisions taken by them till the pronouncement of judgement shall not be rendered invalid.
The High Court said there was no proof of merger of the original political party and that the decision was against constitutional mandate. It said that the decision of the Speaker was sans basis and without undertaking the minimum collection of data regarding the decision of the original party.
Congress had failed to get the required majority of 45 in the 90-member state assembly in the 2009 assembly polls, but Bhupinder Singh Hooda managed to form the government after five Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) MLAs deserted their party and merged with the Congress, which also got the support of seven Independents and a lone BSP member.
The five HJC (BL) MLAs – Satpal Sangwan, Vinod Bhayana, Rao Narender Singh, Zile Ram Chochra and Dharam Singh Chhokar – had “merged” the party with Congress.
HJC Chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, who was the lone party MLA left, had challenged the order of Speaker of Haryana Assembly passed on January 13, 2013 whereby he had rejected his application regarding disqualification of the five MLAs of HJC.
Justice Kannan held that these MLAs are also disqualified to hold any remunerative political post for duration of the period commencing from the respective dates of voluntarily giving up their membership from the party i.E. November 9, 2009.
“However, any actions performed or decisions taken, while already occupying such remunerative political posts till the time of pronouncement of judgement shall not be rendered invalid,” held the court.
The decision has come ahead of October 15 Haryana Assembly election.