Manipur Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand Singh on Saturday dismissed the objection pleas of seven MLAs.
The speaker fixed June 17 next for further proceedings of the case and fixed June 12 next for the respondents to file comments.
The disqualification of the seven MLAs was sought on the ground that they had switched sides to the BJP even though they had been elected as Congress candidates in the Assembly elections of 2017.
The seven MLAs had filed an objection report on the ground of maintainability of the disqualification case filed against them before the Speaker Tribunal by some Congress MLAs and private parties under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The respondent MLAs had prayed either for rejecting the disqualification petitions as not maintainable since the petitions have not been filed in terms of the provisions of the Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly (disqualification on ground of defection) rules, 1986 or to pass an order as deemed fit in accordance with law.
During the hearing of the case H S Paonam, senior advocate, appearing for the respondents submitted that the disqualification of a member of the Legislative Assembly under the Tenth Schedule is a serious matter.
Hence, the petitions presented before the Tribunal seeking disqualification must strictly comply with the provisions of the Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly (disqualification on ground of defection) Rules, 1986, otherwise the same are liable to be rejected as not maintainable.
The lawyer further stressed the relevant provisions of the Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly (disqualification on ground of defection) Rules, 1986, as contained in Rule 6(5), 6(6) and Rule 7(1), 7(2) and 7(3) and also to the provisions contained under Order VI, Rule 15 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
The respondent counsel further contended that the provisions under Rule 6 and Rule 7 of the Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1986 are mandatory and their non-compliance renders the petitions untenable.
As the petitioners rest their case solely on newspaper clippings, undated, uncertified and manufactured letters without source and its authenticity, the same are liable to be dismissed, contended the lawyer further.
Heaving heard counsels of both parties at length the Speaker Tribunal had reserved its order on May 8 with a direction to the petitioners and the respondents to submit written arguments on or before May 16.
Subsequently the written arguments of both the petitioners and respondents were filed on May 16 last.
On perusing the preliminary objections filed by the respondent MLAs, the Speaker Tribunal dismissed the same and asked the respondents to file written replies by June 12 adding that the case will proceed as fixed.
The Speaker Tribunal also held that the petitioners can also file rejoinder to any to the written comment on or before June 16 and posted the matter on June 17 for further proceedings.
It may be mentioned that the seven MLAs – Oinam Lukhoi, Ksh Biren, Paonam Brojen, Sanasam Bira, Ngamthang Haokip, Ginsuanhau Zou and Yengkhom Surchandra – got elected from Congress ticket but defected to BJP after the 2017 Assembly election of Manipur.