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Plea in Supreme Court seeks directions to EC over 12 disqualified MLAs still in Manipur Assembly as parliamentary secretaries

The plea has been filed by D.D Thaisii, stating that his fundamental right as an elector and citizen of the State of Manipur is violated by the long and inexplicable delay in disposing of the application submitted under Article 192 of the Constitution of India.

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A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court of India, seeking direction to the Election Commission of India to submit its opinion to the Governor of Manipur on 12 legislators who had been disqualified – as per Article 191 (1 )(a) of the Constitution – from the Manipur assembly but continue to function as members of the House.

The petition wants quick disposal of the petition under Article 192 of the Constitution of India. The plea has been filed by D.D Thaisii, stating that his fundamental right as an elector and citizen of the State of Manipur is violated by the long and inexplicable delay in disposing of the application submitted under Article 192 of the Constitution of India.

The plea alleges that the Election Commission of India has failed to discharge its constitutional duty. The 12 were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries for the State of Manipur, in exercise of powers under Section 3 of The Manipur Parliamentary Secretaries (Appointment, Salary and Allowance and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012.

The plea reads that “such appointments as Parliamentary Secretaries were made by the Chief Minister of Manipur, to subvert the provisions of Article 164 ( 1-A) of the Constitution of India. The offices titled as Parliamentary Secretary for the State of Manipur, are Offices of Profit, inasmuch as the said appointment elevated the 12 members of the Legislative Assemble of Manipur to the rank and status of Minister of State C (under Section 4 of the 2012 Act) and also entitled them to draw higher Salary and Allowances as are admissible to a Minister of State under The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Manipur) Act, 1972 (under Section 7 of the 2012 Act).”

The plea further reads: “During 2017, a Member of the Manipur Legislative Assembly was entitled to receive Rs 19,500 per month, apart from allowances under The Salaries and Allowances of Members of the Legislative Assembly (Manipur) Act, 1972, as amended from time to time.”

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During the same time, under The Salaries and Allowances of the Ministers (Manipur) Act, 1972, as amended from time to time, a Minister of State of Manipur was entitled to receive Rs 26,000 per month apart from Sumptuary Allowances, free Residence and Conveyance Allowance. Therefore, the monetary benefit of the 12 members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, who were appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries is doubtless and obvious. And that the 12 members of the Legislative Assembly, who were appointed and who accepted appointment as Parliamentary Secretaries, thus, occupied Office of Profit and thus automatically incurred the disqualification under Sub-Clause (a) of Clause (1) of the Article 191 of the Constitution of India and they are not entitled to continue as Members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly and their seats have fallen vacant under Sub-Clause (a) of Clause (3) of Article 190 of the Constitution of India.”

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