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SC restrains Manipur minister from entering Assembly


IMPHAL, March 19 - Manipur Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar, who is facing a disqualification case, has been restrained from entering the State Legislative Assembly and also stripped of his Cabinet ministerial post.

This information was revealed to media persons here on Wednesday by K Meghachandra Singh, Congress MLA.

An order to this effect was passed by a bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice S Ravindra Bhat of the Supreme Court on Wednesday after hearing a petition seeking disqualification of Shyamkumar who was elected as an MLA on a Congress ticket, but had later defected to the BJP after the State Assembly elections in 2017.

The apex court, however, left the matter of disqualification to the Tribunal of the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly where a petition seeking to disqualify Shyamkumar has been pending. The Speaker�s Tribunal had earlier reserved the judgment for the disqualification case till March 28.

Congress MLA Meghachandra Singh, who is the petitioner in the case, said that the Supreme Court had refrained from pronouncing the final verdict in the case, considering the dignity of office of the Speaker, and if the Speaker fails to pronounce the final judgment in the case, the apex court will come up with its final verdict.

Earlier, the Court, in an order passed on January 21, 2020, had directed the Speaker to take a decision on the pending petition within a period of four weeks from the date when the judgment is intimated to him.

After the expiry of one month, the Speaker requested for eight more weeks in order to decide the case before him. A cross miscellaneous application was also moved, requesting the Court to decide the disqualification petition itself. When the matter came up before the bench today, the Solicitor General requested the Court to defer the matter till March 28, by which time, he said, there would be a judgment on the disqualification applications by the Speaker.

After hearing the Solicitor General and senior advocate Kapil Sibal (who opposed the plea to defer the matters), the bench ordered that �Respondent No. 3 (Shyamkumar) is restrained from entering the Legislative Assembly till further orders of this Court. Needless to add, he will cease to be a minister of the cabinet immediately.�

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