SC to consider pleas by 3 Manipur MLAs against disqualification

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to consider the petitions by three former Congress MLAs against the Manipur High Court orders, upholding their disqualification by the Assembly Speaker.

Three separate petitions were filed in the top court by Kshetrimayum Biren Singh, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh, and Sanasam Bira Singh who were, in the March 2017 Assembly election, elected as Congress candidates.

A bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Ajay Rastogi issued notice on the petitions to the Assembly Speaker’s office, seeking they file affidavits within two weeks.

The Speaker had disqualified the MLAs On June 18 last year after petitions alleging that they had voluntarily given up their membership of the Congress and advanced their support to the BJP. The high court had, on June 2 this year, upheld the decision.

The disqualified MLAs have challenged the verdict, claiming that the Speaker had sufficient material to decide they had voluntarily given up their membership of the Congress.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the petitioners, sought a stay on the high court’s order, arguing that there were procedural as well as substantial flaws in the disqualification proceedings. He contended that media reports have been used to build the case against the petitioners and also pictures that these MLAs were seen with BJP leaders. Rohatgi added that his clients have completely denied these allegations.

After hearing arguments in the matter, the top court said it was issuing notice on the petitions and it will hear the matter on September 29.