Hry Vidhan Sabha secretary to decide on pension to Chautalas

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Disposing off a PIL, the division Bench of Justices A.K. Mittal and Raj Rahul Garg has directed the Secretary, Haryana Vidhan Sabha to take a final decision on stopping payment of pension to Ajay Chautala and Om Parkash Chautala as EX-MLAs. The bench has directed the Vidhan Sabha secretary to pass a speaking order on the demand notice dated February 6,2016.

The demand notice had been issued by Advocate H C Arora seeking stoppage of pension on account of their conviction under Prevention of Corruption Act and other offences of IPC.

Secretary Vidhan Sabha has been directed to give a personal hearing to Advocate Arora and then pass a speaking order dealing with his contentions. The order has to be passed within a period of 2 months.

The claim of the petitioner in the PIL has been that Chautalas were convicted by a Delhi Court on January 16, 2013 and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Later, their appeals were dismissed by Delhi High Court on March 5, 2015. Subsequently, their further petitions were also dismissed by the Supreme Court of India.

Quoting the provisions contained in Section 7-A   (1-A) the Haryana Legislative Assembly (Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members) Act, 1975, the petitioner stated that it laid down that “No pension shall be admissible under sub-section (1) to a member in respect of the term and during the period for which he is disqualified under the   Representation of the People Act, 1951.”

The precise argument of the petitioner before the HC bench has been that  under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Chautalas stood disqualified for a period of 16 years (10 years of sentence plus 6 years more) from  January 16, 2013, the date on which they were convicted, as their appeals against conviction stood dismissed. Petitioner had stated in his PIL that despite conviction and ten years’ sentence, Ajay Singh Chautala was drawing monthly pension of Rs.50,100/-  and Om Parkash Chautala was getting monthly pension to Rs.2,15,430/-. They have drawn pension amounting to more than Rs. One crore after January 16, 2013, which also requires to be recovered from them.

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