Manipur High Court declares election of disqualified Congress MLA as null and void

While declaring the election of Surchandra as null and void, the judge further stated that the petitioner (Rameshwor) is entitled to be declared as an elected member of Kakching Assembly constituency.

The High Court of Manipur on Thursday declared the election of Y Surchandra from the Kakching Assembly constituency in the 2017 assembly elections as null and void on grounds of “false information” on his financial asset and property in his election affidavit.

Interestingly, Y Surchandra was disqualified a few months ago from being a member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly under 10th Schedule of Indian Constitution, popularly known as Anti-Defection Law.

On Thursday, Justice MV Muralidaran cancelled Y Surchandra’s election in an order passed in a petition filed by M Rameshwar, the BJP’s candidate from the constituency.

Rameshwar, who was the runner up in the election in 2017, had challenged the Congress candidate’s victory by a slender margin of 530 votes. 

After 20 hearings, the court agreed with the petitioner’s arguments that Surchandra had failed to disclose vital material information in his affidavit pertaining to his financial asset and property.
Rameshwar filed the petition to the high court against the then Congress MLA Y Surchandra and CPI candidate N Achouba alleging that they had failed to provide financial assets and property in the election affidavit.

He filed the election petition under Section 100 (1) (d) (i) and (iv) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 to declare that the election of Surchandra from Kakching Assembly constituency in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election, 2017 is null and void. He further prayed the court to declare that the petitioner is the duly elected member from the constituency in the assembly election of 2017 from the constituency. 

Rameshwor, in his petition, alleged that the Congress candidate has failed to disclose full particulars of his assets and liabilities including the assets and liabilities of his dependants.

Besides, Surchandra has failed to disclose vital material information in his affidavit pertaining to his non-agricultural lands and also the details of loan or dues to bank/financial institutions apart from failure to disclose the details of deposits in bank accounts of his spouse.

The judgment of the court was kept reserved after the final hearing of the case held on October 21 last and declared today.

While declaring the election of Surchandra as null and void, the judge further stated that the petitioner (Rameshwor) is entitled to be declared as an elected member of Kakching Assembly constituency. 
In the election results, Surchandra got 11133 votes and the petitioner got 10503 votes. Surchandra was declared as an elected member of the constituency in 2017. 

NNN

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