Northeast

12 MLAs in ‘office of profit’ case have not incurred disqualifications: Manipur governor

The complaint filed by Congress politician DD Thaisii seeking disqualification of the 12 MLAs for allegedly holding ‘office of profit’ was dismissed.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated on 9 Dec 2021, 4:31 pm

Manipur Governor La Ganesan (PHOTO: DIPR)

Manipur Governor La Ganesan (PHOTO: DIPR)

 

Manipur Governor La Ganesan on Wednesday declared that the 12 MLAs who were appointed as Parliamentary secretaries have not incurred disqualification on the ground of “office of profit” under the provision of Article 191 of the Indian Constitution.

Accordingly, the complaint filed by Congress politician DD Thaisii seeking disqualification of the 12 MLAs for allegedly holding ‘office of profit’ was dismissed.

The governor observed that Manipur Legislative Assembly (in exercise of its power conferred under Article 191 (1) (a) Constitution of India) duly enacted Manipur Legislature (Removal of Disqualifications) Act, 1972 and the said Act of 1972 alongwith the Manipur Legislature (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Act, 1975, thereby exempting the office of Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly from being office of profit. The same case has already been upheld by the three judges bench of the Supreme Court in the case of Nongthombam Ibomcha Singh reported in 1976.

Moreover, the governor stated that he also received the opinion of the ECI on January 13, thereby holding that the 12 MLAs have not incurred disqualification under Article 191 (1) (a) of Constitution of India in the view of the law enacted by Legislature namely Manipur Legislature (Removal of Disqualifications) Act, 1972 (in exercise of its powers conferred under Article 191 (1) of Constitution of India), and the same is binding upon the governor in terms of the aforesaid settled law of  the Supreme Court.

Relying on the opinion of the ECI, the governor declared that the 12 MLAs have not incurred disqualifications as charged.

In 2017, the 12 MLAs were appointed as Parliamentary secretaries by Chief Minister N Biren Singh under Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment Salary and Allowance and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012. They were not only given the status of a minister but also enjoyed financial benefits as well as other perks entitled to a minister.

However, the Act was later declared unconstitutional by an order of the High Court of Manipur after being challenged. Based on the order, DD Thaisii, submitted a complaint to the governor on October 21, 2020 to initiate a proceeding to obtain the opinion of the ECI before taking any decision. In January, the ECI submitted its opinion that the MLAs could not be disqualified retrospectively for the Act was in force when they were appointed as parliamentary secretaries.

With the governor allegedly failing to take a decision several months after the ECI’s submission, a petition was filed in the Apex court seeking a directive to expedite the matter pending with the governor.

First published:8 Dec 2021, 8:54 pm

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IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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