Father and son’s political future depends on higher court
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The sentencing of INLD chief and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay has given a crude blow to their individual political careers. Not only them, both IAS officers convicted in the scam also stare at dismissal from service in case they fail to get any relief from a higher court.
While whistleblower-turned-accused IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar had been under suspension for the last 10 years, Chautala's former Officer on Special Duty, Vidya Dhar, is currently the Haryana deputy secretary (Administrative Reforms). According to reports, the Haryana government has directed officials to procure the judgment to initiate dismissal proceedings against both the officers.
Their only hope now lies in challenging the judgment and a possible relief from the higher court. So far, the only positive aspect is that the judgment won't have any impact on their membership of the Assembly and they will continue as MLAs. Same is the case with another convict in the case, Ladwa MLA Sher Singh Badshami.
However, their fate has been sealed when it came to contesting the 2012 Assembly elections. According to Section 8 of the The Representation of the People Act, a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of conviction and continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.
Assembly officials maintained there was no provision to cancel their membership. "Until someone is convicted under Anti-Defection, a member can attend House with permission of the court or while on bail. It is only conviction under Anti-Defection Law that warrants action by the Assembly," said Assembly Additional Secretary Kuldeep Singh.