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Manipur HC restrains 7 rebel MLAs to enter assembly complex


GUWAHATI: Manipur High Court has restrained seven MLAs who joined BJP from Congress from entering the Legislative Assembly, Imphal.

The Court has directed the State Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand to restrain the MLAs from entry till further orders.

Justice K. Nobin Singh ordered, “ Thereof with the direction that unless and until the petitions are decided and disposed of finally by the Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly, the private respondents namely Sanasam Bira Singh, MLA; Ginsuanhau, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, Ngamthang Haokip, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh, Kshetrimayum Bira Singh and Paonam Brojen Singh are restrained from entering the Manipur Legislative Assembly. Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly is directed to ensure compliance of this order by all concerned”.

The court observed that it is an undeniable fact that the Speaker has failed to decide the petitions filed by the petitioners before him within a reasonable time. The petitions were admittedly filed on 08.11.2018 but the same have not, in fact, been disposed of by the Speaker till date.

“In K. Meghachandra Singh (supra), the Supreme Court, while partly allowing the Civil Appeals arising out of SLP (C) No.18659 of 2019 vide its judgment and order dated 21-01-2020, directed the Speaker to decide the petitions within four weeks from the date on which it was intimated to him. Since the Speaker failed to decide the same within the time as directed, the Supreme Court passed an order dated 18-03-2020 directing that Th. Shyamkumar Singh be restrained from entering the Manipur Legislative Assembly until further order. The Supreme Court has also observed that what is reasonable will depend on the facts of each case but absent exceptional circumstances for which there is good reason, a period of three months from the date on which the petition is filed, is the outer limit within which the petition must be decided by the Speaker.”

The court added that the Speaker ought to have decided the petitions within three months from the day on which the judgment and order was intimated to him.

“The Speaker appears to be not aggrieved by the judgment and there is no material on record to show that the Speaker did file an application for clarification or a review petition for reviewing observation. Speaker acting as the Tribunal, ought to act fairly and reasonably but he has utterly failed to do so. The Speaker appears to have no respect for the provisions of the Constitution of India including Article 14 which strikes at the root of arbitrariness, malafide etc. and the decisions of the Supreme Court as well. The reason as to why the petitions were not disposed of by him within four months from the date of the judgment being intimated to him, leave alone more than one and half years from the date of filing the petitions is not made known to public, because of which it has been submitted by the learned senior counsel appearing for the applicants that the failure on the part of the Speaker to decide the petitions, is nothing but legally malafide which is one of the grounds contained in the exception carved out in Kohito Hollohan (supra) with respect to judicial review.”

Earlier following the Supreme Court verdict, Manipur minister for municipal administration, housing and urban development Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh on March 26 last resigned from the membership of legislative assembly.

Singh won on congress ticket from Andro assembly constituency in Imphal East in the 2017 however before swearing in he joined BJP government.

Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, Congress spokesperson in Manipur told ET, “I welcome the verdict of High Court of Manipur to restrain seven defected Congress MLAs to BJP from entering Manipur Legislative Assembly till the final disposal of the pending disqualification cases against them in the Speaker’s Tribunal. The Keisham Meghachandra judgment of Supreme Court of India has given the path to justice today. I am sure that Congress will win Rajya Sabha election from Manipur on 19th June. I look forward to see a new Congress led coalition government in Manipur soon. Day by day, the ruling coalition is being weakened numerically and politically in Manipur”.

Recently BJP led government in Manipur expanded the council of ministers by inducting Manipur Naga people Front president Awangbow Newmai .

In assembly polls in 2017 Congress emerged as the single largest party with 28 MLAs in the assembly election. Later around eight Congress MLAs left the party. BJP won 21 seats.

BJP got support from National People’s Party (NPP) and Naga Peoples Front (NPF) which won four seats each. One MLA each from Trinamool congress, Lok Jan Shakti party and lone independent member supported the government.

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