Governor of Manipur La Ganesan dismissed DD Thaisii’s petition notifying the Election Commission of India that the 12 MLAs accused were not just holding office for profit.

The governor heard a writ petition filed by DD Thaisii, a Congress MLA from the state on Wednesday, where the MLA sought for disqualification of 12 MLAs on grounds of holding posts of Parliamentary Secretaries amounting to ‘offices of profit’.

The 12 MLAs that DD Thaisii sought to disqualify are

  1. Leishanthem Susindro Meitei, Khurai
  2. Nahakpam Indrajit, Kshetrigao
  3. Lourenbam Rameshwor Meitei, Keirao
  4. Thokchom Satyabrata Singh, Yaiskul
  5. Heikham Dingo Singh, Sekmai
  6. Dr. Sapam Ranjan, Konthoujam
  7. Soibam Subhaschandra Singh, Naoriya Pakhanglakpa
  8. Kongkham Robindro Singh, Mayang Imphal
  9. Leishiyo, Phungya
  10. Kashim Vashum, Chingai
  11. Awangbow Newmai, Tamei
  12. Ashab Uddin, Jiribam

While the law relevant to the office of profit bars MPs and MLAs from holding a position under the government, the 12 MLAs held positions of parliamentary secretaries under an exemption granted by two laws – the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012, and the Manipur Parliamentary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018 – passed in the last decade.

Both Acts ceased to exist after the Manipur High Court pronounced them invalid and unconstitutional in a judgment on September 17, 2020, after which the Congress had approached governor Najma Heptulla seeking disqualification of the 12 MLAs on account of holding the position of parliamentary secretaries, which qualified as ‘office of profit’ after the HC ruling. The governor had sought the EC’s views on the matter in October last year.

On November 9, a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and BV Nagarathna of the Supreme Court of India hearing the writ petition observed that the Governor of Manipur cannot delay deciding on the opinion given by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on January 13, 2021, regarding the disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs of Manipur Assembly in the “office of profit” issue.

Also read: Manipur CM should join in to press for repeal of AFSPA: CSCHR

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