Manipur High Court Declares Election Of Congress Leader As Member Of State Assembly Null And Void For Non Disclosure Of Information In Election Affidavit

first_imgNews UpdatesManipur High Court Declares Election Of Congress Leader As Member Of State Assembly Null And Void For Non Disclosure Of Information In Election Affidavit Nupur Thapliyal15 April 2021 10:32 PMShare This – xThe Manipur High Court on Thursday declared as null and void the election of Congress leader Okram Henry Singh as a member of State Assembly (Wangkhei Assembly Constituency) in 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly after observing that failure to disclose name of the spouse and his dependents, details of pending criminal cases and educational qualification would constitute a corrupt practice…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Manipur High Court on Thursday declared as null and void the election of Congress leader Okram Henry Singh as a member of State Assembly (Wangkhei Assembly Constituency) in 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly after observing that failure to disclose name of the spouse and his dependents, details of pending criminal cases and educational qualification would constitute a corrupt practice falling within the meaning of ‘undue influence’ under sec. 123(2) of Representative of People Act, 1951.The observation came from a single bench comprising of Justice MV Muralidaran while dealing with an election petition filed by Yumkham Erabot Singh under sec. 100(1)(d) and (iv) of the Act seeking declaration of Henry Singh’s election as null and void and to declare himself as the returned candidate for the said election. Moreover, the petitioner also sought initiation of criminal proceedings against him under sec. 125A and 127 of the Act. According to the petitioner, Henry Singh had filed an affidavit dated 13th February 2017 along with the nomination paper before the Returning Officer, however, had deliberately misrepresented his educational qualifications thereby creating a confusion in the mind of innocent voters. It was alleged that Singh in the affidavit filed for 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly election had stated himself to have a graduation in BA but the same was changed to 12th pass in the 11th Assembly elections. Moreover, it was also alleged by the petitioner that Henry Singh had pending criminal cases against him; first, under sec. 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act and sec. 420 of IPC, cognizance of which was taken by a CJM Court on 10th February 2017, much before filing the nomination paper and second a special trial case under NDPS Act. It was therefore the case of the petitioner that Henry Singh had deliberately concealed the pendency of cases which he was bound to provide the details of in the affidavit. The petitioner had submitted objections to the Chief Election Agent on 23rd and 25th February 2017 however no action was taken against Henry Singh for concealment of pending criminal cases in the election affidavit. Issues before the High Court – Whether the Returning Officer of 15-Wangkhei Assembly Constituency has accepted the nomination paper of the Respondent No.1 (Henry Singh) improperly or not? – Whether the Respondent No.7 through bonafide mistake and inadvertence has stated in para 5(i) regarding the pendency of case, date of taking cognizance etc. instead of mentioning the fact in para 5(ii) of the affidavit in format or not? – Whether mentioning of the facts regarding the name of the court, case no. and date of order taking cognizance etc. in para 5(i) instead of mentioning in. para 5(ii), through bonafide mistake and inadvertence on the part of the Respondent No.1 may amount to concealment of material facts while swearing the Affidavit and this bonafide mistake has materially affected the results of the election or not? 4 – Whether the petitioner is entitled for the cost of litigation? – Whether the petitioner proves that he is entitled to be declared as duly elected Returned Candidate from 15-Wangkhei Assembly Constituency for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election or not? – Whether the Affidavit in Form 26 prescribed by Rule 4A of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 is a statutory Format or not? – Whether the Affidavit in Form 26 dated 13.2.2017 of Respondent No.1 are to be filled up as per the prescribed Format as provided by the Rule 4A of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 and whether the said affidavit was as per the prescribed form or not? If not, what would be the effect or if not filled up as prescribed by Rule 4A of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, what would be the effect?Observation of the Court The Court, while noting that the said election was held while a criminal case was pending against Henry Singh, observed that Singh was “well aware of every proceeding about the pending NDPS case”. Moreover, the Court also noted that Singh failed to disclose the details of the Criminal Case pending against him and observed that “it is not case of filling in wrong Column but also it is the clear case of non-disclosure of the details and complete information as per the Format provided by the Statute.” Perusing the examination in chief of Henry Singh and his admission that he filled all the required information with the best of his knowledge in the affidavit and nomination paper, the Court also went ahead to observe that there was no bonafide mistake and inadvertence in filling up of his Affidavit. “The Respondent No.1 ought to have disclosed the details information where the Respondent No. 1 is involved in the Criminal Case as per format provided by the statutory Rules. However, in the present Case, the Respondent No.1 despite having full knowledge of the Special Trial Case where no charge has been framed against him, the Respondent No. 1 failed to disclose in proper place and also details of information of Criminal Cases pending against him and details of his Educational Qualification as provided by the statutory Rules which is in complete violation of the provisions in the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and rules thereof.” The Court held. The Court also went ahead to observe that furnishing of incorrect and incomplete information about the Special Trial, his educational qualification, pending Criminal Case in the Affidavit filed along with the nomination paper in terms of the provisions under sec. 33 and 33A of Act, 1951 read with Art. 173 of the Constitution of India deserves to be rejected on the ground of improper acceptance. “In the present Case, the Respondent No. 1 failed to disclose the name of his spouse and his dependents, pending Criminal Cases and educational qualification. As such, non-disclosure of such information would constitute a corrupt practice falling under heading ‘undue influence’ as defined under Section 123(2) of the RP Act, 1951.” The Court held. With the aforesaid observations, the Court held thus: – The Election petition is allowed by declaring the election of the Respondent No. 1 as Member of 15- Wangkhei Assembly Constituency in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly as null and void. – This Court declared that the petitioner is duly elected as a member of 15-Wangkhei Assembly Constituency. – Both the parties are directed to bear their own cost. Click Here To Download JudgmentSubscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img

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