The Supreme Court on Wednesday banned Manipur minister and Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh – against whom multiple disqualification petitions were pending – from entering the state Assembly, Live Law reported. The court also ruled that he would cease to be a minister immediately.
Singh had defected from the Congress to BJP after Assembly elections in Manipur in 2017, which he had contested as a Congress candidate. The Congress had won 28 seats in the elections and the BJP got 21. However, the BJP allied with National People’s Party to form a government, and Singh joined them. He was made the minister of forest and environment.
The Congress filed an application of disqualification against him but Manipur Assembly Speaker Y Khemchand did not take any action, after which a writ petition was filed. Singh was also suspended from the party for six years.
A bench comprising Justices Rohinton Nariman and Ravindra Bhat passed the order under Article 142 of the Constitution, which allows the Supreme Court to pass any order necessary for doing complete justice in a matter before it.
The court’s ruling came on an appeal against a Manipur High Court order on a petition seeking directions to the Speaker to decide the disqualification pleas within a reasonable period of time, The Indian Express reported.
The order was passed after the top court noted that despite its direction to the Manipur Speaker in January to decide on the 13 disqualification petitions pending against Singh within four weeks, no such decision had been taken. After the end of the four-week period, the Speaker had sought eight more weeks to take a call on the petitions.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta asked the court to give the Speaker 10 more days to make his decision after which the bench said it was constrained to pass the order. The top court will take up the matter again on March 30.