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HC declines to stay Amarinder's expulsion

September 11, 2008 17:38 IST
Last Updated: September 11, 2008 20:38 IST

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Amarinder Singh expelled from Punjab assembly

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday declined to stay the expulsion of the embattled former chief minister Amarinder Singh from the state assembly over graft charges and asked what was the urgency in approaching the court.

A division bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ajay Tewari said it was not inclined to grant the stay at this juncture after the former Punjab chief minister moved the court challenging Wednesday's assembly resolution to strip him of his membership and seeking relief.

"What is the urgency of coming to the court today itself?," the bench asked the Congress leader's counsel. The bench also wanted to know whether expulsion was not the prerogative of the House.

The counsel said the House had also sought custodial interrogation of 66-year-old Singh.

The legislative assembly cannot give a directive regarding filing of an FIR, the counsel contended and claimed that the Congress leader had been deprived of a fair opportunity before the House.

The bench later adjourned the case till Friday. Singh's petition moved back and forth in the courts before it was finally taken up Justice Goel's bench.

In an unprecedented action, the assembly had on Wednesday expelled Singh from the House after a nine-member committee of the assembly headed by ruling Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Harish Rai Dhanda indicted him and three others in the Amritsar [Images] Improvement Trust land exemption case. The House also declared his seat vacant.

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