Manipur Govt Can’t Delay EC’s Opinion Over 12 BJP MLAs Disqualification: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Manipur Governor La Ganesan cannot delay the opinion given by the Election Commission (EC) regarding the disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in the “office of profit” issue.

A Bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao made the observation after it was told that the Governor is yet to take a decision on the poll panel’s opinion furnished on January 13, 2021.

“Reference has been passed by the Election Commission. Why can’t the Governor pass an order? The government should ask the Governor, something must be done. The Election Commission had submitted its opinion in the matter in January. The Governor cannot sit over the decision,” the Bench said.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Karong MLA DD Thaisii, Congress MLA from Manipur, 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, told the Bench that the Governor cannot keep the decision pending and he was entitled to know the view, adding that the term of the Assembly was expiring within a month and if something is not done the issue would become infructuous. The apex court posted the matter for hearing on November 11.

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

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