State

High Court dismisses NPF plea

Correspondent KOHIMA, FEB 11 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/11/2021 1:37:31 PM IST

 SAYS, 7 SUSPENDED NPF LEGISLATORS CAN ATTEND ASSEMBLY

Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Thursday dismissed two Interlocutory Applications (IA) filed by the NPF-- one of the plea sought the court’s intervention in restraining the seven suspended party legislators from attending the Seventh session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly session scheduled from February 12, pending a final verdict on a Writ Petition and the other plea filed by the seven MLAs challenging the “maintainability of the writ petition”.

The suspended NPF legislators include-- EE Pangteang, Eshak Konyak, Kejong Chang, BS Nganlang Phom, Toyang Chang, N. Thongwang Konyak and CL John.

Later speaking to a section of media persons here, Supreme Court lawyer Siddharth Borgohain, representing the petitioners, said the court, after hearing the parties, maintained that there was already another IA (writ petition (C)/95/2020) relating to disqualification of the seven NPF legislators that was in pendency stage. Hence, he said, the court ruled that there was no merit in passing a judgement to restrain the seven suspended legislators from attending the NLA session.

The single judge bench of Songkhupchung Serto in its judgment on Thursday said: “The petition herein is devoid of all such ingredients therefore, it cannot be entertained. As such, it is rejected and dismissed.” 

In view of the conclusion arrived at, the court had passed the order to let the earlier Writ Petition to be listed after a week for all the parties to complete their pleadings.

It may be mentioned that the NPF on February 1 stated that since the disqualification case was being delayed before the session, it submitted its prayer before the Court to restrain the seven legislators from entering the Assembly till the disposal of the writ petition as “the purpose of the 10th Schedule is being defeated by dilatory means.”

NPF had filed a petition in the high court for disqualification of the seven NPF legislators against the backdrop of inordinate delay by the Speaker.

It may be recalled that the seven MLAs had been suspended from the party’s membership in April 2019 for defying the NPF’s decision to support the Congress candidate K.L. Chishi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Subsequently, the NPF Disciplinary Action Committee (DAC) served a show cause notice on the seven legislators followed by their suspensions from the primary and active membership of the party. Later the NPF filed a petition with the office of the Speaker NLA seeking disqualification against the MLAs on April 24, 2019. 

In March 2020, Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench had directed the speaker to dispose the disqualification petition against the MLAs within three weeks. The NPF again approached the High Court when no action was forthcoming. 

In response, the court had on June 2, 2020 directed the speaker to conclude the disqualification proceedings against seven NPF legislators and pass appropriate orders within six weeks with effect from June 2, 2020. 

 It may be recalled that the Speaker Sharingain Longkumer on July 14, 2020 had dismissed the petition of the NPF which sought the disqualification of seven rebel MLAs, citing the reason that the respondents were not liable to be disqualified under Para 2 (1) (a) of the 10th Schedule of the constitution. 

Earlier this week, Borgohain had expressed dismay at the speaker for having being kept the decision pending for almost 15 months without looking at the evidence provided on July 14, 2020. 

Borgohain said his client then went ahead and filed a writ petition challenging the speaker’s judgment.


-Tags:#NPF plea

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