HC voids election of Manipur legislator
High Court of Manipur on Thursday declared the election of former Congress legislator Okram Henry Singh from Wangkhei under Imphal East district in the 2017 Assembly polls null and void for concealment of personal details in his election affidavit.
The single-judge bench of Justice M.V. Muralidaran not only ruled in favour of petitioner Y. Erabot Singh of the BJP but also “declared that the petitioner is duly elected as a member of 15-Wangkhei Assembly Constituency”.
Henry had won the polls on a Congress ticket by bagging 16,753 votes to Erabot’s 12,417.
Erabot had challenged the election of Henry for violating the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, while filing his nomination in 2017 on the ground that he had misrepresented his education qualification and had concealed information about criminal cases.
The 99-page court ruling said that Respondent No. 1 (Henry) 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 said.
The hearing concluded on March 17 but the court had reserved its ruling.
Henry, nephew of former chief minister and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh, was among the six Congress MLAs who had resigned soon after the N. Biren Singh government won the trust vote in the Assembly in August 2020.
Henry was inducted as a minister in October last year. However, since he could not get himself elected as an MLA within the mandatory six-month deadline, his stint as the minister for social welfare, cooperation and municipal administration, housing and urban development (MAHUD) ended last month.
Henry told The Telegraph on Thursday evening that he is no longer an MLA/minister and that he would contest the high court ruling in the Supreme Court.