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HC dismisses Nandlal's petition against privileges committee

August 14, 2008 21:39 IST

The Bombay High Court dismissed on Thursday a petition filed by state election commissioner Nand Lal against the punishment awarded to him by the privileges committee of the Maharashtra legislature.

A division bench of Justices R M S Khandeparkar and Amjad Sayed was hearing a petition filed by Lal, challenging the legality of the sentence.

Lal was held guilty by the privileges committee of the state assembly in March this year for not appearing before it with regard to a breach of privilege motion moved against him by a Congress member of the Legislative Assembly Janardan Chandurkar.

Lal had refused to appear before the committee, but sent a written reply.

The committee, however, held him guilty for contempt, for not appearing and sentenced him to two days' civil imprisonment. Lal then moved the High Court, challenging the sentence.

His lawyer Shrihari Aney argued that though court cannot go into merit of the privileges committee's decision, it can examine whether the procedure adopted by the committee was legal.

According to Aney, the committee should have given Lal a separate show-cause notice when it decided to punish him for not appearing before it.

The state assembly has not been represented by anybody in this case as it resolved not to entertain any notice from the High Court in this case.

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