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Cong MP Masood jailed, set to lose Rajya Sabha seat

Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rasheed Masood became the first lawmaker in the country to get disqualified after the 10 July Supreme Court verdict on disqualification of lawmakers. After being sentenced to four years in jail by a special CBI court in a corruption case related to a medical admission scam while he was union minister in VP Singh-led government, Masood on Tuesday was taken into custody.

As per Supreme Court order dated 10 July, lawmakers would get disqualified after being convicted and getting punishment of two years or more. The apex court had struck down a provision of the Representation of People Act (RP Act) which gave protection to lawmakers even after being convicted if they appealed in the higher courts within 90 days. With no protection from the law and the uncertainty looming large on the fate of the ordinance sent by the union cabinet to the President, two more lawmakers – RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD(U) MP Jagdish Sharma – could follow Masood on Thursday when a Ranchi special court would pronounce quantum of judgment.
Masood, who was taken into custody after the verdict, had argued that he is 67 years old with a medical history. He said there has been no other complaint against him, there is no prior conviction and he has clean antecedents. Masood and co-convicts Gurdial Singh, a former IPS, and retired IAS Amal Kumar Roy, the then secretary of Tripura chief minister Sudhir Ranjan Majumdar, had urged the court to release them on probation. Special CBI judge J P S Malik refused leniency.
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