Manjeet Singh challenges breach of privilege sentence in HC

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Mumbai, Apr 17 (UNI) Manjeet Singh Sethi moved the Bombay High Court today challenging the sentence of imprisonment for 90 days passed by the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for breach of privilege of the members of the house.

The case was mentioned before a Division Bench comprising Justices D G Deshpande and V K Tahilramani and will come up for hearing on April 19.

The petition submitted that while Manjeet Sethi was not intruding in the proceedings of the house, the alleged accusation of his statement published in a Marathi daily head lined, 'Wives of ministers shall not be allowed to move on streets', was false.

The petition clarified that this statement was made by him in front of the electronic media on the question of the bar dancers' reaction after their meeting on the closing down of dance bars, where he was just an invitee.

The petitioner contended in his appeal that the decision to 'gherao' the ministers and not let their wives move freely was not his but that of the bar dancers.

He also denied making the statement 'R R Patil has lost his mental equilibrium and his decision is foolish'.

In his petition, Mr Singh said that the statements had not been made before the House and therefore they were not a breach of privilege either and the state should withdraw the charge against him.

The petition alleged that the person to have mislead the house was the Deputy Chief Minister himself as Mr Patil had announced his decision to closed down dance bars even before discussing the policy among cabinet members.

The petition also claimed that the story had been published in the paper to initiate the breach of privilege proceeding against him as it was owned by brother of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar's brother Prataprao Pawar.

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