Gujarat Assembly byelection: Top court stays EC declaration of bypoll to Talala constituency


The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Election Commissions March 10 decision notifying Gujarats Talala Assembly constituency seat as vacant and declaring bypolls there along with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi also issued notice to the poll panel on a plea filed by former Congress MLA B D Barad, who had challenged his disqualification as an MLA and the subsequent ECs decision notifying the seat as vacant. Barad has moved the apex court against the Gujarat High Courts March 27 verdict dismissing his petition against his disqualification as an MLA and also against the ECs decision notifying the bypolls there. Barad was disqualified as an MLA by the assembly speaker on March 5 following his conviction in a case. Barad was convicted by a magisterial court on March 1 in a case for offence under section 379 (punishment for theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and was sentenced to two years and nine month jail along with a fine of Rs 2,500. On the same day, the magistrate had suspended the sentence and released him on bail. Later, he challenged the order before a Sessions court which stayed his conviction on March 7. However, on March 5, the Speaker disqualified Barad and also notified the assembly seat as vacant. On March 15, the high court had quashed the Sessions courts March 7 order staying his conviction in the case. In its March 27 order, a division bench of the high court had said that it would not interfere with the notification of Election Commission as Barads conviction was not stayed and therefore, his disqualification remains.

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