Jailed for five years, Lalu’s seat to remain vacant till next polls
Prasad and Sharma on Thursday also became the first set of MPs from Lok Sabha to be disqualified under the 10 July Supreme Court verdict on disqualification of lawmakers. Earlier this week, Rajya Sabha MP from Congress Rasheed Masood was the first lawmaker to be disqualified after getting convicted in a medical admission scam case.
Sources at the EC office said that a by-election takes place within six months, but since the term of the current Lok Sabha is left with little more than six months and in this scenario there is a provision for not holding by-election and put unnecessary burden on the exchequer. Now, both the parliamentary constituencies would remain vacant till the next Lok Sabha elections and both these seats will have their MPs only after the next general elections.
A Special CBI court in Ranchi handed down five-year jail term to Lalu Prasad and four-year jail term to Jagdish Sharma. The court also handed down four years of jail term to former Bihar chief minister Dr Jagannath Mishra, who was also an accused in the case. Besides these three, other accused in the case also got varied punishments.
As per the Supreme Court order dated 10 July, lawmakers would get disqualified after being convicted and if they get 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.