Updated 7 May 2022, 4:44 pm
Manipur High Court justice Ahanthem Bimol on Thursday directed not to hold the election of the executive members of All Manipur Bar Association (AMBA) for the year 2022-2024 without the leave of the high court.
The move came following a petition filed by an advocate Puyam Tomcha Meetei who alleged that the outgoing president Maibam Nilachandra who submitted nomination is not eligible for re-election under the bye-law of AMBA.
He stated that the term of executive committee for 2019-2021 expired in the month of March 2021, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, the executive committee has been allowed to continue till now although the time for fresh election fell in the year 2021.
As the pandemic situation improved, the election notification was issued for holding the election for the term 2022-24, as per the petition. Pointing out that Nilachandra is not eligible, Tomcha filed the petition before the HC to take up appropriate action to ensure strict compliance of the provisions of Manipur Societies Registration Act, 1989 and to follow rules and regulation of Bye-law of AMBA, Imphal.
The petitioner also stated that the returning officer of AMBA issued a notice on April 25, 2022 for election of the executive members of AMBA. Pursuant to the notice, the petitioner along with outgoing president filed their nomination paper for the post of president of AMBA.
As per the notified dates, scrutiny was held on April 30, during which the present petitioner filed an objection against the outgoing president, stating that he is not eligible for re-election. He pointed out that under the first proviso of the Bye-Law 13(II), it is provided that the out-going office bearers of the executive committee shall not be eligible for re-election in any post for next one term and that in case no candidates come up for a particular post/posts, he or she may be re-elected by the general body meeting. The petitioner filed an objection but the returning officer rejected the objection and accepted the nomination filed by the outgoing president on May 2, he stated.
The petitioner having been aggrieved approached the court by filing the writ petition with a prayer for quashing the impugned order of May 2.
The HC stated that the election which is scheduled to be held on May 8 be deferred for some time and the Registrar of Societies may be directed to decide as to whether the outgoing president is eligible for re-election as president of AMBA in view of the provision under Bye-Law 13(II) first proviso.
After considering the submission, the HC directed secretary AMBA to forward a copy of the Bye- Law of AMBA along with the notice declaring the outgoing president as the elected president of AMBA in the last election of AMBA. It also sought the nomination paper filed by him, and the objection application filed by the petitioner as well as the impugned order of returning officer by Friday without fail.
Further, the HC directed the secretary of AMBA, the Registrar of Societies to examine and to decide the issue as to whether the outgoing president is eligible for re-election as the president of AMBA and to submit his decision before the court on or before May 11 without fail.
First published:6 May 2022, 2:33 pm
Manipur high courtAll Manipur Bar AssociationAMBA election