Court notice to Haryana speaker, poll panel



Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday issued notice to the Haryana assembly speaker and the Election Commission on a plea challenging the speaker's order allowing five Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) legislators to join the Congress.

The petition was filed by HJC leader Kuldeep Bishnoi who challenged the order of Haryana Speaker Kuldeep Sharma allowing a group of five defector HJC legislators to be merged with the ruling Congress.

Sharma had last month dismissed 14 petitions, including that of Bishnoi, pending before him against the merger of the HJC legislators with the Congress. Bishnoi had sought disqualification of the five defector legislators under the anti-defection law.

The five HJC legislators had defected to the Congress in November 2009, just a month after the October assembly elections.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda told media in Ambala, 45 km from here, Monday that the speaker's decision was as per law.

"It is the constitutional right of every individual to move the court and whatever the verdict of the court would be acceptable to all," Hooda said.

The HJC had won six seats in the assembly election and barring its president Bishnoi, all the other legislators defected to the Congress saying that they had "merged" their group with the Congress.

The five HJC legislators are Sat Pal Sangwan, Zile Ram Sharma, Dharam Singh, Vinod Bhayana and Rao Narender Singh.

The then speaker, HS Chatha, had allowed the merger of the HJC legislators's group with the Congress in 2009.

IANS