No Individual Has the Authority To Change or Work for Any Party if the Individual Already Works in a Political Party: Manipur High Court H

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Facts of the Case:

The current writ petition states that, as a candidate supported by the Indian National Congress (INC) on the election of 2020, symbol of the Indian National Congress (INC), Manipur Legislative Assembly Election was conducted on 04.03.2017 and 08.03.2017. (INC). The results of these elections were revealed on 11th March 2016 and the writ petitioner was declared as elected Member of the 11th Assembly of Manipur as a National Congress legislator (INC). The outcome of the election was revealed on 11.03.2016 and an elected member of Manipur’s 11th Legislative Assembly was declared the applicant as a legislator of the Indian National Congress (INC). Such election results were reported in the extraordinary Manipur Gazette on 14.03.2017 and the name of the writ petitioner was listed as a Member elected and a party affiliate indicated with an Indian National Congress at Sl. No. 37-Kakchings Assembly Constituency (INC). The petitioner was subsequently elected to the Indian National Congress on 19.03.2017 by the Pro-Tem Speaker as a member of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly (INC). After that, He was disqualified under section Article 191 (2) of the Constitution of India and Para 2 (1) (a) of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India. The petitioner was disqualified for the stated reason that he started supporting the opposite namely Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) along with other 3 MLA’s namely Shri S. Bira, Shri O. Lukhoi and Shri Ngamthang Haokip. It also came to notice that the petitioner wore BLP uniform in the events conducted by BLP in which the petitioner also participated. This came to notice in local newspapers magazines and channels also. For the said offence, the petitioner is alleged by the respondents that he had already given up his membership in INC. An additional declaration of disqualification No 14 from 2019 was filed on 07 February 2020 contending that the writ petitioner had registered himself as an active primary BJP member in Manipur Pradesh, as well as on the membership application formula. The petitioner was declaimed to be a member of the BJP from 2017 and claimed to be a 6061st member.

 

Arguments by Petitioner:

Learned Counsel’s on behalf of the petitioner submitted their arguments on the following 4 (four) grounds:

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that the Hon’ble Speaker passed the impugned order dated 18.06.2020 in gross violation of the Principle of Natural Justice;

The learned senior counsel further submitted that a notice dated 17.06.2020 and cause-list dated 18.06.2020 was secretly published at the midnight hours, however, the aforesaid notice dated 17.06.2020 and cause-list dated 18.06.2020 was never served either to the writ petitioner or to the counsel of the writ petitioner.  it is submitted by the learned senior counsel appearing for the writ petitioner that after disposal of the miscellaneous application raising preliminary objections about the maintainability of the disqualification petitions, the disqualification case filed against the writ petitioner was fixed on 17.06.2020 for further proceedings by an order dated 06.06.2020 passed by the Speaker.

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that the conduct of the Speaker in passing the impugned order dated 18.06.2020 has demonstrated malafide;

Mr. HS. Paonam, a learned senior Advocate, has argued that malafide conduct is defined as an action taken to deceive a person and that the Speaker’s conduct in issuing the challenged order WP(C) No. 316 of 2020 disqualifying the writ petitioner has an element of malafide conduct.

 

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that the Speaker has been motivated by perversity while passing the impugned order

It was also alleged that on 18 June 2020 in cases of disqualification, the Speaker with a sense of total lawlessness and a deeper sense of surprise took a contradiction, differing and political stance, disqualifying 3 MLAs, including the present petitioner while rejecting cases of disqualification filed against 4 other MLAs, although the total 7

 

that the Hon’ble Speaker has violated the Constitutional mandate

The Speaker’s Order in WP(C) No. 298 of 2020, dated 18.06.2020, for maintaining in compliance, had casually ignored the notification of an order reserved for disqualification cases in breach of the Constitutional requirement

Arguments by Respondents:

The Learned Counsel stated that the petitioner and other BJP members in his local areas also engaged in several political initiatives and events organised by the BJP to establish himself as a member of the BJP. Further argues that the writ petitioner does not specifically reject any claim that it, with the participation of three other INC MLAs, was encouraged to voluntarily surrender its membership of the INC and to join the BJP through a reception ceremony of 2020, and the fact that such events had been published in many paper and electronic media. It was stated that the arguments in that disqualification case had made explicit and categorical comments about the behaviour of a writ petitioner and the situations in which the petitioner willingly abandoned his membership in the National Indigenous Congress (INC), and joined the BJP.

 

Court Analysis:

The Learned Court briefly observed that, if the petitioner does not deny the existence and integrity of the papers and the reports published in the papers are not disregarded, then it says that the petitioner took part in the BJP reception ceremony and will be facilitated by BJP leaders for his voluntary surrender to the Indian National Conference Party. Therefore, we similarly take the conclusion that under the facts and circumstances of the instant case, likewise, the judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court mentioned by the Senior Advocate to the petitioner is not applicable.

 

Court’s Decision:

From all the above conclusions, the Learned Court decides that the present writ petition is filed and dismissed as same with regards to the Tenth (10th) Schedule of the Constitution of India.

Case: Shri Yengkhom Surchandra Singh vs The Hon’ble Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly / The Secretary, Manipur Legislative Assembly / D.D. Thaisii

Click here to read the full Judgement

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