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Judiciary on the rescue Indian Constitution

by Rinku Khumukcham
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‘In Indian politics nothing is impossible’ – former Chief Minister of Manipur Radhabinod Koijam once said to reporters before he took oath on   February 15, 2001. Saying so, the bindings of the constitution of India cannot be overridden by any of the citizen including the elected representatives called MLAs or Ministers. Numbers matter in democracy to form government, but as stated by former CM Radhabinod Koijam, it was made possible for the BJP to form a government here in the state even though it bagged only 21 seats in the assembly election. Congress party which bagged 28 seats failed to come back to power as it failed to control its members elected in the election who had parted violating the constitutional provisions provided under the Anti defection Law.
Recent verdict of the Supreme Court of India, directing the Speaker Tribunal of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, perhaps is a sign to show that the impossible part that former Chief Minister had stated regarding politics in Indian democracy turn out to be wrong. He seems to have forgotten that there is a judiciary that will come to the rescue of the constitution of India if violated by law makers. Some said the directives of the Supreme Court is a blow to the Speaker Tribunal, but then opinion of some said that the order is more like an opportunity given to the Speaker of Manipur to exercise his power without interference from the political party that he got elected. Even though the Speaker has to leave his party if become the speaker in conventional manner, he definitely may find undue pressure from the leadership of the party while rendering his duty.   
To remind our readers, Th. Shyamkumar, the Forest Minister, was the first Congress MLA to join BJP.  He joined BJP even before being sworn in as MLA. He was sworn in as Cabinet Minister at Raj Bhavan along with others on March 15 this year.  On April 18, Congress MLA Ginsuanhau Zou joined BJP. Four more Congress MLAs – Y Surchandra, Ngamthang Haokip, O Lukhoi and S Bira joined the BJP on April 28. Another two Congress MLAs Kshetrimayum Biren Singh and Paonam Brojen joined the BJP on July 17.  
With the joining of the 8 Congress MLAs to BJP, the number of Congress MLAs has been reduced to 20.
Congress party is the oldest political party in the country. People across the country have high respect for this political party over its commitment to protect and safeguard the constitution of India.
When BJP comes to power, people are not upset on realizing that the Congress party will play constructive role of opposition. In democracy a strong opposition is what people has been expecting and with the present numbers, Congress is a strong opposition in the house of 60.
Protecting the 10th Schedule of the Indian constitution is also what is expected from the oldest political party. But for reason best known the political party is not following any procedure to protect the constitutional provision.
A candidate will be disqualified if he wins election on one party ticket and joins other party after win under Anti- defection law. Anti- defection law was introduced by 52nd amendment act, 1985 and it was also added in constitution as 10th schedule. Having known it, none of the members of the Congress had applied for disqualification of these elected representatives even after 7 months plus some few days.  It was only against Th. Shyamkumar that a petition for disqualification had been reported filed. But till now no move or campaign is seen to speed up the case.
Lately a disqualification case has been filed against MLA Y Surchandra to the Speaker’s tribunal but by a voter from Kakching Assembly constituency and not from the political party he had defected.
Better late than never, justice is likely to be delivered. Saying so, it is upto the Speaker that will decide the fate of the defected congress MLAs. People in the state have to wait and watch the integrity of Manipur Legislative Assembly.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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