Manipur HC Raps Speaker for Not Disqualifying Congress MLA Who Defected to BJP
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Manipur HC Raps Speaker for Not Disqualifying Congress MLA Who Defected to BJP

By Thewire calender  27-Jul-2019

Manipur HC Raps Speaker for Not Disqualifying Congress MLA Who Defected to BJP

Days after Congress and JD(S) MLAs in Karnataka shifted their support to the BJP to help the latter form the government, the Manipur high court has come down heavily on the assembly speaker of the north-eastern state, under the BJP’s rule, for not disqualifying a Congress MLA, Th. Shyamkumar Singh, for the last two-and-a-half years. Shymakumar jumped to the BJP and became a minister in the N. Biren Singh-led Manipur government in March 2017, without resigning from the party or seeking a re-election, thus violating the tenth schedule of the Constitution.
On July 23, Justice Kh. Nobin Singh disposed two petitions filed by Congress MLAs T.N. Haokip and Md. Fajur Rahim against the turncoat minister, the speaker and the assembly secretary, citing jurisdiction issue. But it made a lengthy observation about the “inaction and indecision” of the speaker – BJP MLA from Singjamei constituency Yumnam Khemchand Singh – in the matter.
Shyamkumar is the minister for municipality and administration, housing and urban development (MAHUD), town planning, forest and environment, horticulture and soil conservation.
“It may not be appropriate for this court to pass any order for the time being, as regards the inaction or indecision on the part of the Speaker to take a decision and moreover, the judicial discipline and propriety demand that High Court shall refrain from issuing a writ petition of quo warrant to declaring the public office of the minister being held by the minister as illegal.”
Shyamkumar Singh won the Andro seat in the 2017 assembly elections. Though Congress was the single largest party with 28 seats, it fell three seats short of the required number to achieve simple majority in the 60-member assembly. The BJP, with 21 seats, stitched up an alliance with the Naga People’s Front (NPF), the Nationalist People’s Party (NPP) and the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP), thus taking its tally to 30 seats. This was still one short of the majority mark. Shyamkumar Singh’s defection to the BJP thus helped the party form a coalition government.

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