Jharkhand: Congress MLA, 12 others get 5-year jail term in 2016 firing case - Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand: Congress MLA, 12 others get 5-year jail term in 2016 firing case

Dec 13, 2022 07:54 PM IST

Mamta will lose her assembly membership in the light of a 2013 Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling according to which, convicted MPs and MLAs sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years would be treated as disqualified from the membership of either house of the Parliament or state assembly with immediate effect

A Jharkhand court on Tuesday rewarded Congress legislator Mamta Devi and 12 others five years imprisonment in connection with a 2016 case involving firing on the premises of a private industrial firm in Ramgarh’s Gola.

Atmaram Chaudhary, counsel of the complaint in the case (ANI Photo)
Atmaram Chaudhary, counsel of the complaint in the case (ANI Photo)

A special Haziribagh court of Kumar Pawan on Thursday convicted the Ramgarh Congress MLA and others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Arms Act.

While the court pronounced the quantum of punishment on Tuesday, the convicts were taken into judicial custody on Thursday itself.

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“The court has pronounced a jail term of five years and a fine of 10,000 for Mamta Devi and others under sections 333 and 307 of the IPC and two years of imprisonment under sections 148 and 332 of the IPC. All punishments would run concurrently,” said Atmaram Chaudhary, counsel of the complaint in the case.

Amid the sentencing, Mamta will lose her assembly membership in the light of a 2013 Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling according to which, convicted MPs and MLAs sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years would be treated as disqualified from the membership of either house of the Parliament or state assembly with immediate effect.

The assembly will notify her disqualification soon after receiving the court’s order, an assembly official said. Once disqualified, Mamta would become the second Congress legislator after Bandhu Tirkey to lose assembly membership.

Before Mamta, five Jharkhand assembly members lost their membership between 2015 and 2018, following their convictions in separate criminal cases. However, Mamta is the first woman legislator in the state to have been convicted in a criminal case.

The case pertains to a protest of around 200 persons led by Mamta, who then was a Zila Parishad member, on August 29, 2016, against a private industrial firm at Gola in Ramgarh district.

It was alleged that a mob, led by Mamta Devi and others, fired upon the police party in which five policemen and an official were injured.

In retaliation, the police opened fire to contain the violence in which two protesters were killed. Dinesh Suren, the then block development officer, who suffered a major injury, registered a complaint against Mamta Devi and others at Rajrappa police station and a case was registered.

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Cases were registered against Mamta Devi and others by the police under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act.

Following the complaint, Mamta and others were arrested soon after and sent to Hazaribagh Central jail. However, Mamta secured bail after spending nearly eight months in jail and in the 2019 assembly polls, she contested on a Congress ticket and won.

Reacting to the development, Jharkhand Congress general secretary and spokesperson Rakesh Sinha said they will challenge the verdict in the higher court.

“The verdict is surprising and unfortunate. It will be challenged in the higher court. Our state leadership is now busy with Bharat Jodo Yatra. They are likely to return to Ranchi tomorrow. We will deliberate on the political fallouts of it once they are back,” said Sinha.

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