Shyamkumar disqualified after three years

Staff Reporter

Imphal, March 28: The Speaker’s Tribunal of the Manipur Legislative Assembly has on Saturday disqualified Andro MLA Th Shyamkumar, who was elected to the state assembly on INC ticket in the 2017 state assembly election but shifted allegiance to the BJP.

The hearing on different disqualification cases filed against him in the Speaker’s Tribunal by 15 Congress MLAs continued for three years. The final hearing was conducted on February 4 this year and fixed March 28 for judgment hearing.

In its verdict, the Speaker observed, “…this Tribunal came to the conclusion that the respondent had clearly violated the provision of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India and is liable to be punished as per the provision of the Constitution to uphold the dignity of democracy and the mandate of the people.”

It further adds, “I, therefore, hold that the respondent Thounaojam Shyamkumar, Member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, 7-Andro Assembly Constituency, Manipur had incurred disqualification for being a member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly in terms of paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India read with Article 191(2) of the Constitution of India.”

“The respondent, thus, ceases to be a member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly with immediate effect from this date, i.e., 28-03-2020 till the expiry of the term of this assembly, i.e., 11th Legislative Assembly of Manipur,” the judgement said.

Mention may be made that Supreme Court of India on January 21 directed the Speaker’s Tribunal to take a decision on the case within four weeks. Consequently, the final hearing of the case was conducted on February 4 and the tribunal fixed March 28 for the judgment hearing while inviting both parties to submit affidavit if any by February 12.

In the meantime, the Speaker’s Tribunal made an appeal to the Supreme Court to extend the judgment date by another four weeks which was challenged by Congress MLAs K Meghachandra and Md Fajur Rahim through connecting petitions.

Consequently, the apex court in its interim order dated March 18 restricted Th Shyamkumar from entering the state assembly complex and removed him from the post of minister.

“Given the extraordinary facts in the present case, we are constrained to use our powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. Respondent No 3 (Th Shyamkumar) is restrained from entering the legislative assembly till further orders of the court. Needless to add, he will cease to be a minister of the cabinet immediately,” said the SC order.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA K Meghachandra hailed the judgment of the Speaker’s Tribunal as a triumph of democracy but expressed discontentment for taking too much time in taking the decision.

He said that it has been three years since the party took up the case. After knocking through the doors of the High Court and Supreme Court, the apex court finally made the historic decision which ensured justice. Without the judgment of the Supreme Court, justice would not have been served. For this the party thanks the Supreme Court, the MLA said.

On the other hand, the Manipur Legislative Assembly secretariat in a bulletin dated March 28 stated that the seat for 7-Andro Assembly Constituency is vacant after the disqualification of Th Shyamkumar.

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