Challenging a petition regarding the appointment of Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, the Supreme Court of India sought responses from the Centre and the state government.
The petitioner has contended that Tamang was not qualified to hold the office as he was convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, making him ineligible for the job.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has also sought responses from the parties on a plea seeking a stay on Tamang taking any major policy decision or other important governance duties as the state’s chief minister.
It has been reported that Tamang was sent to jail in 2017 after he was found guilty of misappropriating government funds worth Rs. 9.5 lakh in a cow distribution scheme during his ministry as animal husbandry when the scam took place in between 1994 and 1999. He was later released from jail on August 10, 2018.
Senior advocate GV Rao who has settled the petition said that Tamang has not only be allowed to contest the elections but he has also been elected wrongfully as the chief minister despite being a disqualified and ineligible for contesting in the elections and is thereby bad in law.
He also stated that Tamang’s appointment as the chief minister of the state was unconstitutional and violates the fundamental core of the constitution.
Moreover, former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling alleged that Tamang cannot contest the elections till 2024.