Almost four months after the Gujarat High Court stayed his conviction in an illegal mining case, disqualified Congress MLA Bhagvan Barad was reinstated as a legislator on Wednesday by the Assembly speaker.
Speaker Rajendra Trivedi had disqualified Barad in March after a magistrate's court in Sutrapada town convicted the Congress leader in a 24-year-old illegal mining case and sentenced him to two years and nine months in jail.
In July second week, the high court suspended the conviction of the MLA from Talala in Gir-Somnath district till the time his appeal in the sessions court is disposed of.
"Taking into consideration the ruling by the high court, I have today revoked my March order after taking legal advise," said Trivedi.
The 60-year-old opposition legislator had approached Trivedi and the Gujarat government immediately after he was granted relief by the HC in July for revocation of his disqualification.
"I had submitted the high court order to them to get my disqualification revoked. Today, I have been informed in writing by the Assembly Secretariat that I am reinstated as the MLA of Talala," said Barad after meeting Trivedi in Gandhinagar.
On March 1, a magistrate's court at Sutrapada in Gir Somnath district had sentenced Barad to two years and nine months in jail in a 24-year-old case of illegal mining.
The sessions court at Veraval, the headquarters of Gir Somnath district, first stayed his conviction. The government challenged the stay order in the high court, which sent the matter back to the sessions court.
The sessions court heard the case afresh and held in April that his conviction cannot be stayed.
This time Barad challenged the order in the HC which referred the matter back to the sessions court for want of proper reasoning in its order.
However, the sessions court again rejected Barad's petition, prompting the MLA to approach the high court again.
Finally, the HC stayed his conviction in July.
Barad was convicted under IPC section 379 (punishment for theft) in the case which related to theft of minerals.
Since he was sentenced to more than two years in jail, the assembly speaker, under existing norms, disqualified him on March 5 and the Election Commission declared his seat as vacant and announced a by-election.
He then moved the Supreme Court against the EC's March 10 notification related to bypoll in Talala. On April 1, the apex court stayed the EC's order declaring by-election on the assembly seat.