AHMEDABAD: Congress lawmaker from Gujarat Bhagvan Barad has been disqualified as an MLA following his conviction in an illegal mining case, state Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi said on Tuesday.
A court in Gir-Somnath district last Friday awarded Barad a jail term of two years and nine months in a 24-year-old case of illegal mining. The 60-year-old Congress leader won from Talala seat in Gir-Somnath in the 2017 Assembly polls.
"Barad has been disqualified as MLA. The chief electoral officer and the election commissioner have been informed about it. He is no longer an MLA," Trivedi told reporters in Gandhinagar. The state legal department earlier sent a certified copy of the court order to the Gujarat Assembly so that action could be taken against him," he said.
Barad was disqualified as per notifications of the Election Commission and the Supreme Court order pertaining to conviction of a lawmaker in a case, Trivedi said.
The apex court last year said a lawmaker, whose conviction in a criminal case has not been stayed by an appellate court, would stand disqualified from the membership of the House.
The court in Gir-Somnath pronounced Barad guilty under Indian Penal Code Section 379 (theft) and also imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 on him.
He was accused of stealing limestone worth Rs 2.83 crore through illegal mining on a government land in Sutrapada. The material was then sold to a local chemical factory, as per the FIR lodged against him against him in 1995.
Barad has challenged his conviction in the Gujarat High Court.