A single bench of the Manipur High Court on Thursday heard the election petition filed against Kakching MLA Mayanglambam Rameshwar, challenging his election as a member of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly and improper acceptance of nomination of MLA by returning officer.
The HC directed the registry to serve notice to M Rameshwar and fixed the next hearing on May 20.
The petition was filed by Rameshwar’s rival Yengkhom Surchandra, who contested as the candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The petitioner stated that he filed an objection to the nomination of Rameshwar, NPP candidate before the RO, 37-Kakching AC at the time of scrutiny for rejection of his nomination for non-disclosure of a criminal case which is pending before the Imphal Police Station. The MLA also failed to fill up the required columns/paras in his affidavit (Form 26) accompanying nomination, the petitioner said, adding the objection was, however, rejected by the concerned RO.
While filing the nomination, Rameshwar had failed to mention the proper full address and failed to disclose the pending Criminal/FIR Case in the affidavit, as such he failed to furnish the detail information in the Affidavit under Form No. 26 along with nomination paper filed before the RO of 37-Kakching AC, Surchandra said.
He further stated that Rameshwar failed to file a proper affidavit as he failed to disclose the unsecured loan taken by him from his wife amounting to Rs 92,90,000/- (Rupees ninety-two lakhs ninety thousand) only and has not been shown in the income tax return filed for the year 2016-17 and its subsequent years.
The petitioner stated that Rameshwar also failed to disclose the total amount of gold jewellery and due gold loan amount and that the MLA wrongly mentioned the patta of agricultural land.
It also stated that the purpose of filing of affidavit along with the nomination paper is to effectuate the fundamental right of the citizens under Article 19(1)(a) of Constitution of India. It has further been held that filing of in-complete affidavit or non-disclosure of any information including criminal antecedents will render the election of such candidate void, the petition said. Thus, the improper acceptance of the nomination by the RO of 37-Kakching AC has materially affected the election of the petitioner. If the RO had rejected the nomination paper of Rameshwar, the petitioner would have been the returned candidate from 37-Kakching AC to the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election, 2022, the petition said.
Therefore, the petitioner prayed for declaring the election of Mayanglambam Rameshwar Singh as the returned candidate from 37-Kakching assembly constituency for the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election, 2022 as null and void.