Manipur HC rules election of MLA as ‘null and void’
Imphal, April 15 (IANS): The Manipur High Court on Thursday ruled the election of MLA Okram Henry Singh, who was elected from the Wangkhei Assembly constituency in the 2017 elections, as ‘null and void’, officials said.
A court official said that Justice MV Muralidaran, after hearing the petition of Yumkham Erabot Singh, ruled the membership of Okram Henry Singh as member of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly as null and void citing a ‘false affidavit’ submitted before the Election Commission.
As a Congress candidate, Okram Henry Singh had won the Wangkhei Assembly seat (under Imphal East District) in the Assembly polls held on March 4, 2017 after defeating Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yumkham Erabot Singh.
After winning the seat, Okram Henry Singh had joined the ruling BJP and was made a minister but he had to resign from the cabinet after six months following the controversy.
Subsequently, 77-year-old Yumkham Erabot Singh filed the petition before the high court against 32-year-old Okram Henry Singh, alleging that the latter had mentioned false information in his affidavit about his educational qualification and criminal background.
The Judge in his order said: “This court declares that the petitioner (Yumkham Erabot Singh) is duly elected as a member of Wangkhei Assembly constituency.”
Following the HC ruling, Yumkham Erabot Singh met Manipur Assembly Speaker Yunmnam Khemchand and requested to arrange for his swearing-in-ceremony.
The Assembly Speaker is yet to announce his next course of action.
In the last Assembly elections in Manipur in 2017, the Congress had bagged 28 of the 60 seats while the BJP had won 21, but the saffron party managed to cobble up the numbers as some Congress MLAs defected and formed the government with the BJP.
The BJP had managed the support of some Congress MLAs besides four National People’s Party (NPP) members, four Naga People’s Front MLAs, the lone Trinamool Congress MLA and an Independent member to cross the magic figure of 31 in the 60-member House.
The NPP, a national political party, is headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma.