SC sets aside order of Speaker disqualifying 3 MLAs

SC sets aside order of Sp
The Supreme Court has on Wednesday set aside the order passed by the Speaker of the Manipur Assembly disqualifying three Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) for allegedly defecting to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi remanded the petition for disqualification to the Speaker Y Khemchand Singh, who is required to decide it afresh.
The three MLAs - Kshetrimayum Biren Singh, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh and Sanasam Bira Singh - challenged the order passed by the Manipur High Court on June 2, 2021 upholding the June 2020 decision of the Speaker to disqualify them.
The High Court of Manipur had also declared the election result of Kakching MLA Y Surchandra Singh null and void for non-disclosure of vital information in his poll affidavit in 2017, earlier.
While passing the judgment, the HC instead declared BJP candidate Mayanglambam Rameswhar as the new MLA of Kakching constituency.
Kshetrimayum Biren has, on the other hand, hailed the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Speaking to the media, Biren said that the MLA seat of Lamlai AC has been lying vacant since he was disqualified by the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly.
Biren thanked all the Senior Advocates, Advocates and the people of Manipur who supported him throughout his difficult days.
He assured that he would do his best as an MLA for the remainder of this term which end in March 2022.
The three MLAs had been elected to the Assembly in 2017 on Congress party tickets. However, it was alleged that they gave up their membership of the party and supported the ruling BJP for the purpose of strengthening the coalition Government in the State.
Disqualification petitions came to be filed against them before the Speaker. Their conduct, including their participation in various BJP events, was shown as proof that they had defected to BJP. The Speaker had allowed the petitions on June 18, 2020.
The High Court in its judgment held that the Speaker had passed the disqualification order after taking into consideration all the pleadings, newspaper reports, and photographs and DVDs filed in connection with the disqualification cases. The MLAs had not disputed the authenticity of such reports, the High Court further noted.
It, therefore, ruled that the orders of the Speaker were in accordance with the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India and did not call for any interference. The MLAs thus approached the Supreme Court in appeal against this order.
During a previous hearing before the apex court, Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi contended that there were procedural and substantive irregularities in the order passed by the Speaker.  
Courtesy : Bar and Bench