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Former Punjab speaker dead

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 29, 2013
First Published: 21:12 IST(29/11/2013) | Last Updated: 21:13 IST(29/11/2013)

Freedom fighter and former Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Harbans Lal Gupta died on Friday at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. He was 95.

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His wife, Satya; sons, Arun Gupta and senior advocate Anupam Gupta; and daughter, Jyotsana, are left in the immediate family. Gupta's cremation will be at 2.30pm on Saturday at Sector 25 here.

Harbans Lal was speaker from March 25, 1964, to March 19, 1967, and a judge in the Punjab and Haryana high court from 1975 to 1980. Thereafter, he worked as senior advocate in the Supreme Court for more than two decades.

He was a minister of state in the Pratap Singh Kairon cabinet in the late 1950s, and one of the founder leaders of the Praja Mandal Movemnent in undivided Punjab before Independence. The British colonial regime had detained him during the Quit India Movement.

Harbans Lal was elected Congress legislator from Bathinda in 1952, 1957, and 1962. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, and Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia have expressed grief over Gupta's demise.

In a condolence message on Friday, Badal remembered Gupta as a fine human being, an upright politician, and an eminent jurist.

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