SC to hold final hearing on NCP merger on April 21
KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 13
The Supreme Court today heard the special leave petition filed by president of Nagaland unit of NCP, TL Samdok against three NCP legislators Imtilemba Sangtam, Dr TM Lotha and Mmhonlumo Kikon for claiming merger with BJP State unit on June 16 last year. NCP sources revealed that the first hearing after the admission of the petition in Supreme Court was held today, wherein the apex court has directed both the parties to come prepared with all relevant documents during the final hearing which has been fixed for April 21.
The NCP Nagaland unit had urged the SC to issue a stay order against the judgment passed by the Division Bench of Gauhati High Court on November 12, 2014 setting aside Nagaland Legislative Assembly order dated August 24, 2014, disqualifying the membership of MLAs Imtilemba Sangtam, Dr TM Lotha and Mmhonlumo Kikon from the NLA.
However, NCP State unit general secretary Miathou Krose, confirming the hearing to this correspondent over phone from Delhi, said that the apex court after hearing both the parties was of the view that since the final hearing on the matter will be taken up on April 21, 2015, there is no need to issue any stay on the order passed by the High Court.
Mention may be made here that the three had been disqualified from the Assembly for declaring merger with BJP leaving behind one of their colleague in the NCP on June 16, 2014 while they managed to get stay order against the ruling of Speaker and subsequently quashed it in the Principal Bench of GHC on November 13.
However, the NCP filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which was admitted on January 9 last while the first hearing on the matter was conducted today.
Sources also revealed that legal experts of the state government representing the proforma respondent i.e. the NLA Speaker and Secretary also attended court’s proceeding in Delhi today.
Supreme Court dismisses BJP disqualification appeal
Our Delhi source adds: The issue of disqualification of the three BJP MLAs came up for hearing today in the Supreme Court and has been dismissed, according to BJP sources.
Sources in the BJP informed that the Supreme Court has dismissed the prayer for interim stay on the Guwahati High Court order and the matter has been listed for hearing for final disposal on April 21, 2015.
This came as a big blow for the Speaker of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly who had issued disqualification orders on three BJP MLAs who were earlier members of the NCP. The three of them had merged with the BJP from the NCP including the NCP office bearers of the Nagaland unit led by the State president. The three MLAs are Imtilemba Sangtam, Dr. TM Lotha and Mhonlumo Kikon.
The Nagaland Government’s standing councils in the Supreme Court based in Delhi were also present in the court, according to the BJP.
The source said that earlier they had blamed the Speaker and placed full responsibility on the Speaker for the disqualifications but ‘we can see that they are still involved in trying to disqualify our MLAs.’
Senior legal adviser Timikha Koza was also present, the BJP source stated. It claimed that the NPF in Nagaland and the State Government were still pursuing to disqualify the BJP MLAs.
The BJP source told this correspondent that the party is still a part of the DAN Government in Nagaland but there was a serious conspiracy to disseminate the BJP through the disqualification strategy.
The source further questioned that if the NPF and the state government are not involved, then why did they send their legal adviser and the state’s standing councils, because this appeal is filed by the NCP and not the NPF.