Hyderabad: The Sangareddy court on Thursday sentenced Patancheru TRS legislator G. Mahipal Reddy to two-and-a-half years imprisonment and fined him Rs 2,500.
The additional first class magistrate was hearing a petition filed by Versatile Auto Component Industries at Pashamylaram, alleging that the MLA had asked for Rs 5 lakh for himself in addition to the Rs 15 lakh compensation paid towards the death of an employee in 2014.
The court gave the legislator a month to appeal before the district court. Responding to the verdict, the MLA said that he was ready to accept even life imprisonment for the sake of the people and the workers.
Mahesh, an employee of Versatile Auto Component Industries, had been found dead on company premises under suspicious conditions in May 2014.
Blaming the company for Mahesh’s death, Mr Mahipal Reddy, along with his followers, had barged into the premises.
Company managing director P. Chandu Kumar had lodged a complaint with the police alleging that the MLA and his followers had damaged company property and demanded Rs 15 lakh compensation for Mahesh’s family.
Mr Kumar in his complaint alleged that Mr Mahipal Reddy had forced him to sign a Rs 15 lakh cheque. In addition to that, he demanded Rs 5 lakh for himself.
The police registered a case against Mr Reddy under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 448 (trespass), 504 (insult) and 386 (extortion) of the IPC.
Ambiguity over automatic disqualification of Mahipal
There is ambiguity over the automatic disqualification of the Assembly membership of TRS Patancheru MLA G. Mahipal Reddy who was convicted for two-and-a-half years on Thursday.
TS Advocate General K. Ramakrishna Reddy said, “There are different provisions under Section 8 of the Representation of People’s Act. Only a few apply for automatic disqualification. Unless we study the judgement and the relevant provisions of the law, we cannot come to a conclusion over automatic disqualification.” Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal was not available for comments.
Sources in the law department said it was for the competent authority — the Assembly Speaker — to initiate action based on the judgement of Sangareddy court.
Even if the sentence awarded by the sessions court is suspended for a month to allow the MLA to appeal, he will have to be disqualified from the Assembly.
The SC judgement on convicted people’s representatives as well as an amendment by UPA-2 government in 2013 brought in a new rule that makes disqualification automatic when someone is convicted for two or more years.
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