ZPM leader Lalduhoma
File photo of ZPM leader Lalduhoma. Image credit - https://indianexpress.com

Mizoram Assembly is yet to make a final decision on the petitions seeking disqualification of independent MLA and Zo People’s Movement Legislature Party leader Lalduhoma, said Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo.

State Assembly Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo said they are studying and assessing the petitions.

“We are studying the petitions submitted by ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) legislators and the explanation given by him (Lalduhoma). A final decision on whether or not he should be disqualified from the House is yet to be taken,” said Sailo.

Also read: Mizoram: MNF legislators demand disqualification of independent MLA Lalduhoma

In September, a total of 12 MNF legislators submitted similar complaints to the Speaker demanding disqualification of Lalduhoma for allegedly violating the constitution of the country.

In their petitions, the ruling MLAs had alleged that Lalduhoma, who was elected as an independent candidate in the last Assembly polls held in November 2018, has breached para 2 (2) of the 10th schedule of the Indian constitution by defecting to newly floated Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) party.

Section 2 (2) of 10 schedule of the constitution stated that an elected member of a house who has been elected as such otherwise than as a candidate set up by any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he joins any political party after such election.

They also alleged that the independent MLA has indulged in ZPM party activities by attending the party office and inducting new members into the party at functions held in Aizawl and other places, the action of which clearly manifested that he defected to the ZPM.

Subsequently, the Assembly served a show-cause notice to Lalduhoma on September 24 seeking an explanation from him as to why he should not be disqualified.

In his reply, submitted on October 8, Lalduhoma said he did not defect to any other party as he continuously maintained his allegiance to the ZPM since its formation in 2017.

The 71-year-old leader said the ZPM was formed by several minor parties, including Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), a registered state party which he formerly headed.

According to him, along with 37 other candidates, he was declared as official candidates of ZPM in the 2018 Assembly polls.

All the 38 candidates have to contest on independent tickets as the ZPM did not obtain registration at the time of filing nominations, which was normal procedure, he said.

The IPS officer-turned-politician also claimed that he did not defect to any other party nor violated the anti-defection law or 10th schedule of the constitution.

Lalduhoma also appealed to the Speaker to reject the petitions as none of the complainants follow clause 6 of “The Members of Mizoram Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on the Ground of Defection) Rules 1987.”

Quoting the rules, he said any petition seeking disqualification of a member should accompany concrete evidence of constitutional violation against the member, whose disqualification is sought and all annexure should be verified by the complainant with his signature.

Lalduhma said the petitions filed by 12 ruling MLAs should be rejected as they did not furnish concrete evidence and the complainants did not verify the annexure with their signature.

Reacting to this, Lalrinliana Sailo said that the annexure was verified by the petitioners with their signatures in the original copies submitted to him.

He said he invited 6 other members of the Zo People’s Movement Legislature Party to his office on Friday to verify the original copies of the petitions and annexure.

“To avoid any accusation of tempering by the MLA (Lalduhoma), I invited other Zo People’s Movement Legislature party members to check the original copies of petitions and annexure. They confirmed that the petitions and annexure were verified by the complainants with their signatures,” he said.

Earlier, Lalduhoma had said his party would move the court if he is disqualified.

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