No relief for Balakrishna Reddy, as HC refuses to stay sentence by special court

No relief for Balakrishna Reddy, as HC refuses to stay sentence by special court

The Madras High Court on Friday rejected former Minister P Balakrishna Reddy’s plea to suspend his three-year imprisonment sentence in a 1998 rioting case.

Justice V Parthiban dismissed the plea by Reddy, seeking to suspend the conviction and three-year sentence till the final disposal of his appeal challenging the January 7 order of the special court.

The judge said, “This court is unable to comprehend as to how yesteryear law breaker can rightfully claim to continue as law framer in the teeth of the impugned conviction, by seeking indulgence of this court to suspend the conviction.”

The judge, however, kept pending an appeal preferred by him challenging the trial court’s verdict and directed the High Court Registry to list it for final hearing in the first week of February. The appellant had taken frantic efforts to get the conviction stayed so that he could escape from disqualification.

According to the Supreme Court’s judgment delivered on September 26 in a case filed by Lok Prahari, a non governmental organisation, the disqualification under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) of 1951 would not come into operation if an appellate court stays the conviction.

On Jan 7, a special court sentenced Reddy to three years’ imprisonment for damaging buses with stones in 1998. At that time, Reddy was with the BJP and later joined AIADMK.

Following the conviction, Reddy, the Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, submitted his resignation from the ministry and it was accepted.