Disqualification hearing: 3 suspended Congress MLAs in J’khand seek eight weeks to file reply, Speaker to decide next date

Published on Sep 07, 2022 09:31 PM IST

The three suspended Congress legislators — Irfan Ansari, Naman Bixel Kongari and Rajesh Kacchap — were arrested in Kolkata on July 30 with ₹48 lakh in cash, which their party alleged was paid to topple the Hemant Soren government.

Three suspended Congress MLAs interact with media outside a jail, after Calcutta High Court granted them interim bail on August 22. (PTI)
Three suspended Congress MLAs interact with media outside a jail, after Calcutta High Court granted them interim bail on August 22. (PTI)

RANCHI Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahto on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on the disqualification complaint moved by Congress legislature party leader Alamgir Alam against three suspended party legislators after they filed a petition seeking eight weeks to file their reply.

“We have received the affidavit submitted by the defendants seeking more time. I will consider it and inform the concerned about my decision,” the Speaker said, adjourning the matter for an undisclosed period after a brief hearing.

The three suspended Congress legislators — Irfan Ansari, Naman Bixel Kongari and Rajesh Kacchap — were arrested in Kolkata on July 30 with 48 lakh in cash, which their party alleged was paid to topple the Hemant Soren government.

A day later, Congress legislator Anup Singh filed an FIR in Ranchi, alleging that they were part of a conspiracy to topple the Jharkhand government in association with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and had offered him 10 crore for switching sides. The Kolkata police booked the three legislators under relevant sections on the basis of the FIR filed by Singh.

Later, based on complaint of three Congress legislators Anup Singh, Shilpi Neha Tirkey and Bhushan Bara, who alleged that the three suspended MLAs had approached them with offers to switch sides and topple the Soren government, Alamgir Alam recommended to the Speaker to initiate disqualification proceedings against them under the anti-defection law.

The three legislators are currently in Kolkata, as per the condition laid by Calcutta High Court while granting them interim bail, even as the West Bengal CID is investigating the case.

On August 26, Speaker Mahto, acting on a complaint by Alam, had issued notices to the three, seeking their clarification. During the first hearing on September 1, the three legislators had sought postponement of the hearing as they were not in a position to join the proceedings online.

With 18 legislators, Congress is the second major constituent of three-party ruling alliance led by Soren.

Due to their bail conditions, the three legislators could not participate in the one-day session of the Assembly on September 5 during the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD brought a confidence motion and proved its majority in the House, amid the prevailing uncertainty over CM Soren’s Assembly membership following allegations that he held an office of profit.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vishal Kant works as an Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He tracks developments in Aam Aadmi Party and Delhi government. Vishal has spent about a decade covering the city politics and governance, besides writing on Delhi’s civic issues, urban transport and infrastructure.

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