Five Haryana Janhit Congress MLA’s disqualified
The Punjab and Haryana disqualified the merger of five Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) MLAs with the Congress in accordance with the anti-defection law. The MLAs in question are Satpal Sangwan, Vinod Bhyana, Rao Narender Singh, Zile Ram Chochra and Dharam Singh Chhokar.
In the 2009 Assembly polls, Congress failed to get the required majority seats in the state assembly. The required number of seats were 45 and Congress has won 40 seats. Initially, seven independent candidates agreed to join the Congress, but by November 2009, the 5 HJC MLAs also claimed that they party had merged with the HJC. The then speaker of Haryana, Kuldeep Sharma, upheld the merged was valid in law. This order was then challenged in the HC.
The HC set aside the order of the Speaker, as being invalid and bad in law. The judge held that the supposed merger was unconstitutional. It disqualified the five HJC members from being MLAs. Also, they were disqualified from any remunerative political post that they may have held since they defected from HJC. This means that the MLAs will have to refund any financial benefits and perks they received by virtue of holding a political post.