Imphal, Jan 21
At a time when the BJP’s N. Biren Singh led coalition government is having a tough time to decide on whom to be replaced among his cabinet ministers, which is expected to happen during last week this month, Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar is landing in trouble, after the Supreme Court today directed the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly to decide on the disqualification filed by Congress MLAs K. Meghachandra and Fajur Rahim as petitioners.
The three members bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice R F Nariman while announcing the verdict asked the Parliament to ponder over the power of the Speaker in deciding petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers, observing that he also belongs to a political party.
The suggestion for devising an independent mechanism to deal with disqualification pleas against lawmakers came in a judgment by which the top court asked the Manipur Assembly Speaker to decide within four weeks the plea of a Congress leader seeking disqualification of BJP lawmaker and Manipur Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar.
On failure to comply with the directives of the Supreme Court by the Speaker of the Supreme Court in taking a decision regarding the disqualification of Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar , the SC bench headed by Justice R F Nariman granted liberty to Congress MLA K. Meghachandra and Fajur Rahim to approach regarding this matter to the same court.
In July, 2019, the Manipur High Court came down heavily to the Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly for not disqualifying a Congress MLA, Th. Shyamkumar Singh, for the last two-and-a-half years. Shyamkumar jumped to the BJP and became a minister in the N. Biren Singh-led Manipur government in March 2017, without resigning from the party or seeking re-election, thus violating the tenth schedule of the Constitution.
On July 23, Justice Kh. Nobin Singh disposed of two petitions filed by Congress MLAs T.N. Haokip and Md. Fajur Rahim against the turncoat minister, the speaker and the assembly secretary, citing jurisdiction issue. But it made a lengthy observation about the “inaction and indecision” of the speaker – BJP MLA from Singjamei constituency Yumnam Khemchand Singh – in the matter.
Shyamkumar is the Minister for Municipality and Administration, Housing and Urban Development (MAHUD), Town Planning, Forest and Environment, Horticulture and Soil Conservation.
Now, a decision taken against Forest Minister Th. Shyamkumar in response to the Supreme Court verdict will also be a deciding factor to the fate of the 7 other Congress MLAs who had defected their parent party which they won the election, as the Supreme Court cannot make two different ruling of a similar case.