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Wangkhei seat BJP’s despite MLA disqualification, declares Manipur HC


GUWAHATI:  The Manipur High Court on Thursday declared the election of BJP MLA, Okram Henry, who is also a minister, as null and void for filing incorrect and incomplete information in his affidavit. A single judge bench of Justice MV Muralidaran declared that the petitioner, Yumkham Erabot Singh, is duly elected as a member of the Wangkhei constituency. This means the seat remains BJP’s.

Contesting as a Congress candidate, Henry had polled 16,753 votes as against 12,417 by Singh of the BJP. Later, Henry defected to the BJP and was appointed a minister. The petitioner highlighted that Henry had furnished incorrect educational qualification and also did not give full details of a criminal case and a drug case against him in the affidavit.

According to the 2012 election affidavit, his educational qualification is BA from Punjab University, but he cited Class XII from the Manipur Public School in the affidavit of 2017. According to the petitioner, there was a criminal case pending against Henry before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Imphal West, over non-payment of money to a company.

In order to discharge liability partly of `10,29,47,449 to the complainant company as agreed upon, Henry had issued a cheque for `10 lakh but it was dishonoured by the bank citing “insufficient funds”. Later, the company filed a case against him before the CJM court. A special trial case is also pending before the court of Special Judge, on illegally transporting contraband drugs. Following the high court’s ruling, Singh reportedly met Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand.