A single bench of the Manipur High Court on Monday heard the election petition filed against sitting MLA of Lamsang AC Sorokhaibam Rajen and three others, challenging Rajen's election as a member of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly citing failure to disclose vital information in the MLA’s affidavit.
The HC directed the registry to serve notice to MLA Rajen, Likmabam Manibabu, Khundrakpam Kanba and Arambam Karamjit, against whom the petition was filed, within the next hearing of May 26.
The election petition was filed by his election rival and National People's Party candidate Pukhrambam Sumati.
According to the petition, Sorokhaibam Rajen submitted incorrect information about his educational qualifications in his nomination papers.
According to the petition, during the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly election, MLA Rajen submitted that he passed his BA from Manipur University (MU) in 1985, but during the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly election and 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election, Rajen submitted his affidavit specifying that he graduated from MU with a BA degree in 1992.
However, in the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election, he submitted that he passed his BA from MU in 1988. Additionally, Rajen submitted an affidavit in the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly election held in 2017 informing he was 43 years old, the petition said.
However, in the 10th Assembly election held in 2012, he mentioned that he was 53 years old in the affidavit, NPP candidate Pukhrambam Sumati said in the petition. Then again, during the 11th Assembly election, he specified his age to be 52 years old, while in the recently held 12th Assembly election, he submitted an affidavit stating that he is 57 years old, Pukhrambam Sumati said in petition.
The petition continued that on the day of scrutiny for the 12th Assembly election, Rajen failed to provide any documents supporting his claims of his age and passing BA degree from MU, in front of the authority concerned.
The document he produced was of a diploma passed by him in 1988. The document, however, was not in the format generally issued by MU and it lacks the signature of the authority concerned, the petition said.
The petition also stated that Rajen, in his affidavit, mentioned that a total of Rs 42,35,095.23 was there in his wife's bank account. But he did not provide a valid reason on why there was so much money in his wife's savings account, when she is only a manager of a brick field, the petition claims.
He also did not mention in his affidavit of the brickfield in his name, M/S SR Construction Material located in Tharoijam Maning Leikai, the NPP candidate said in the petition.
The petition then urged for declaring the electoral victory of Sorokhaibam Rajen from 17-Lamsang AC in the 12th Assembly election as null and void and to disqualify him from representing the constituency.
It also made a prayer for declaring the petitioner as the winner of the election.