Manipur high court restrains 7 Congress MLAs from entering Assembly

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Seven lawmakers in Manipur have been accused of supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government despite being elected on a Congress ticket.

A petition has been filed seeking disqualification of these MLAs. Till a decision on the petiton is taken by the Speaker’s tribunal, these lawmakers have been restrained by the Manipur High Court from entering the state legislative assembly.

The single bench of Justice Kh Nobin of High Court of Manipur passed an order on Monday.

“...unless and until the petitions are decided and disposed of finally by the Hon’ble Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly, the private respondents namely Sanasam Bira Singh, MLA, Ginsuanhau, MLA, Oinam Lukhoi Singh, MLA, Ngamthang Haokip, MLA, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh, MLA, Kshetrimayum Bira Singh, MLA and Paonam Brojen Singh, MLA are restrained from entering the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Imphal,” the order said.

The petitions have been filed by MLA K Meghachandra against Ngamthang Haokip from Saitu, MLA O Henry against Ksh Biren from Lamlai, MLA K Govindas against Paonam Brojen from Wangjing Tentha, MLA DD Thaisi against Y Surchandra from Kakching, MLA Kh Joykisan against Sanasam Bira from Kumbi, MLA O Surjakumar against O Lukhoi from Wangoi and MLA K Ranjit against Ginsuanhau from Singhat.

The bench said that the petitions for the disqualification of the MLAs were filed before the Speaker on November 8, 2018, and were not decided by him within a reasonable time as mandated in Article 14 of the Constitution of India, sources said.

The ruling was passed on Monday after it was kept reserved on June 5. On the hearing that day, the Congress MLAs had prayed before the high court to restrain the seven MLAs from entering the premises of Manipur Legislative Assembly.

One of the petitioners has hailed the judgement. Speaking to mediapersons, Congress MLA K Meghachandra called it a “landmark verdict”. “The order passed by the high court has proved that democracy has failed in Manipur,” he said.

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