Court relief to disqualified MLA fails to help him
The Jabalpur High Court on Thursday ordered immediate relief to disqualified BJP legislator Prahlad Lodhi from the Powai Legislative Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh, staying his sentence in an assault case. According to the court order, the sentence has been stayed till January 7, 2020.
On November 2, Lodhi was sentenced by the Special Court in Bhopal to two years in a case of assault on a Tehsildar following which he was disqualified as legislator from the Powai seat.
The court relief, however, doesn't restore his Vidhan Sabha membership, voided by Speaker Narmada Prasad Prajapati and subsequently acknowledged by the Election Commission. The final call would be taken after the court disposes off the case after January 7, 2020.
The Assembly Secretariat called for a copy of the decision of the Special Court and promptly voided Lodhi's membership on the same day. The BJP reacted strongly to the decision of the Speaker. On Tuesday, a party delegation met Governor Lalji Tandon and submitted a memorandum to him. Former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that the decision of the speaker is illegal. The Governor has not reacted to the Speaker's action.
On Lodhi's appeal against the verdict, the High Court had completed the hearing on Wednesday but the reserved verdict was handed on Thursday. "I am a servant of the people, the people have chosen me. I will continue the fight against the verdict," said Lodhi.
In another case, the High Court rejected an election petition against BJP candidate Girish Gautam from Devtalab assembly seat in Rewa district. The losing BSP candidate Seema Singh had accused Gautam of corrupt practices during the election and tampering with EVMs. Justice Subodh Abhyankar's single bench dismissed the petition, finding all the allegations to be false.
In the Devtalab MLA's case, the BSP candidate had contended that in the assembly election held on November 28, 2018, the BJP candidate got 45,043 votes while she got 43,963. She alleged that the mock poll votes from some EVMs were not deleted and were added to the BJP candidate's count. Seema Singh had also accused the BJP candidate of giving wrong information about his PAN card.
The BJP candidate's counsel told the court that the mock poll votes were deleted from the machines and the information was marked in the polling booth log book. He argued that Girish Gautam's PAN card has been changed, due to which there is a difference in information filed earlier. The court accepted the winning MLA's version.IANS