Manipur High Court dismisses plea challenging disqualification of three former MLAs

The high court order stated that the disqualification of the three former MLAs stands valid and three remains disqualified.

A double bench of the High Court of Manipur comprising justice Lanusungkum Jamir and justice Ahanthem Bimol on Wednesday dismissed the petitions that challenged the disqualification of three former MLAS, namely Yengkhom Surchandra, Sanasam Bira and Kshetrimayum Biren.

The high court observed that their disqualifications by the Speaker’s Tribunal will remain valid and are in accordance with the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

The Speaker’s Tribunal on June 18, 2020 had disqualified three former MLAs from being members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly in terms of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India, read with article 191(2) of the constitution of India, and hold to be a members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly till the expiry of the term of 11th Legislative Assembly of Manipur.

Former MLA of Kumbi assembly constituency S Bira; former MLA of Lamlai assembly constituency Ksh Biren and former MLA of Kakching assembly constituency Y Surchandra were elected as representatives of their respective assembly constituencies as candidates of Indian National Congress, though they shifted parties to BJP later after the BJP formed the ruling government in the state.

After being disqualified by the Speaker’s Tribunal, they filed petitions challenging the Speaker’s disqualification order as violation of constitutional mandate.

The High Court stated that there is no case of violation of the constitutional mandate while passing the disqualification order.

The court observed that there is absence of denial by the writ petitioners concerning the existence and authenticity of the news reports of their participation in the reception ceremony organised by the BJP and being facilitated by the BJP leaders on their joining the party. Therefore, the question of admissibility of the news reports as a piece of evidence has virtually lost its relevance, the court stated.

Therefore, the court order stated that the speaker has rightly passed the impugned order by taking into consideration the conduct of the petitioners and their non denial. Observing that the speaker’s order is in accordance with the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India, the court dismissed the petitions filed by three former MLAs.

First Published:June 2, 2021, 3:31 p.m.

Leave a comment