Other States

Keep 7 Cong. MLAs out of House, Manipur Speaker told

Entry barred till decision on disqualification plea, says High Court

The Manipur High Court on Monday directed the State Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand to “restrain” seven Congress MLAs, who had “defected” to the BJP, from entering the House until further orders.

The seven lawmakers had bolstered the strength of the BJP-led coalition government to 40 in the 60-member Assembly.

After hearing disqualification petitions against them, Justice K. Nobin Singh ordered that the seven MLAs “are restrained from entering the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Imphal” unless and until the petitions “are disposed of finally” by the Speaker.

The court also directed the Speaker to ensure compliance of the order by all concerned.

The seven MLAs are Sanasam Bira Singh, Ginsuanhau, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, Ngamthang Haokip, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh, Kshetrimayum Bira Singh and Paonam Brojen Singh.

Petitions pending

The court said the Speaker had failed to decide the petitions filed by the petitioners from the Congress party within a reasonable time. It said the Speaker had not disposed of the petitions despite the petitions having been filed on November 8, 2018.

After hearing a similar disqualification petition filed in March by Manipur Congress MLA Keisham Meghachandra, the Supreme Court stripped Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar of his office and banned his entry into the Assembly. The Speaker had later disqualified him as a member of the Assembly.

Mr. Shyamkumar was elected in the 2017 elections on a Congress ticket but switched to the BJP even before being sworn in as an MLA. Post-disqualification, he was made an advisor to Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal and other senior advocates represented the petitioners from the Congress.

RS impact

“The High Court of Manipur ensured justice. I am sure the Congress will win the Rajya Sabha election from Manipur on June 19. Day by day, the ruling coalition is being weakened numerically and politically in Manipur,” Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said.

The seven MLAs, as well as Mr. Shyamkumar, will not be able to take part in the voting for the State’s lone Rajya Sabha seat because of the court orders. The BJP is fielding the titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba while former MLA T. Mangibabu is the Congress candidate for the seat.

(with inputs from Iboyaima Laithangbam)

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:44:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/keep-7-cong-mlas-out-of-house-manipur-speaker-told/article31778951.ece

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