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Disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in Manipur: We'll do something, no direction required, SG tells SC

By PTI

New Delhi, Nov 11: The Supreme Court was assured Thursday that the Governor of Manipur will soon take a decision on the opinion given by the Election Commission (EC) regarding the disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in the "office of profit" issue.

The assurance by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta came before a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao which asked him about the decision of the Governor.

"An opinion was given by the Election Commission in January. According to Article 192, the Governor has to go with the decision. In the past 11 months, nothing has happened. We don't want to pass an order but please convey your good offices so that opinion is given so that they can be challenged," the bench also comprising Justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna said.

Mehta submitted," I assure we'll do something and no direction will be required to be passed."

The top court had earlier said the Manipur Governor cannot "sit over" the opinion given by the Election Commission (EC) regarding the disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in the "office of profit" issue.

The observation was made after the bench was apprised that the Governor is yet to take a decision on the EC's opinion furnished on January 13, 2021.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Karong MLA D D Thaisii and others seeking disqualification of 12 MLAs on the ground that they were holding the posts of Parliamentary Secretaries, which amounted to "offices of profit".

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Thaisii, had contended that the Governor cannot keep the decision pending and he was entitled to know the view.

The 12 BJP MLAs from Manipur are reportedly facing disqualification in a 2018 "office-of-profit" case for holding the position of parliamentary secretaries.

The MLAs were found not to be in violation by the EC as they had held the posts of parliamentary secretaries in the state under an exemption granted by two laws, the reports said.

The laws were later struck down by the high court.

After the court declared the laws void, the Manipur Congress had approached Governor Najma Heptulla, seeking disqualification of the 12 BJP MLAs on account of holding the posts of parliamentary secretaries.

The governor had sought the EC's views on the matter in October last year.

According to the report, in a letter to Heptulla in January, the EC opined that since the two laws were in force at the time the lawmakers held the posts of parliamentary secretaries, they could not be disqualified for holding any office of profit retrospectively.

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Disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in Manipur: We

New Delhi, Nov 11: The Supreme Court was assured Thursday that the Governor of Manipur will soon take a decision on the opinion given by the Election Commission (EC) regarding the disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in the "office of profit" issue.

The assurance by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta came before a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao which asked him about the decision of the Governor.

"An opinion was given by the Election Commission in January. According to Article 192, the Governor has to go with the decision. In the past 11 months, nothing has happened. We don't want to pass an order but please convey your good offices so that opinion is given so that they can be challenged," the bench also comprising Justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna said.

Mehta submitted," I assure we'll do something and no direction will be required to be passed."

The top court had earlier said the Manipur Governor cannot "sit over" the opinion given by the Election Commission (EC) regarding the disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in the "office of profit" issue.

The observation was made after the bench was apprised that the Governor is yet to take a decision on the EC's opinion furnished on January 13, 2021.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Karong MLA D D Thaisii and others seeking disqualification of 12 MLAs on the ground that they were holding the posts of Parliamentary Secretaries, which amounted to "offices of profit".

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Thaisii, had contended that the Governor cannot keep the decision pending and he was entitled to know the view.

The 12 BJP MLAs from Manipur are reportedly facing disqualification in a 2018 "office-of-profit" case for holding the position of parliamentary secretaries.

The MLAs were found not to be in violation by the EC as they had held the posts of parliamentary secretaries in the state under an exemption granted by two laws, the reports said.

The laws were later struck down by the high court.

After the court declared the laws void, the Manipur Congress had approached Governor Najma Heptulla, seeking disqualification of the 12 BJP MLAs on account of holding the posts of parliamentary secretaries.

The governor had sought the EC's views on the matter in October last year.

According to the report, in a letter to Heptulla in January, the EC opined that since the two laws were in force at the time the lawmakers held the posts of parliamentary secretaries, they could not be disqualified for holding any office of profit retrospectively.

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