Manipur High Court declares Election of Okram Henry Singh as ‘Null and Void’

The Manipur High Court on Thursday declared the election of Okram Henry Singh as member of 15-Wangkhei Assembly Constituency in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly as ‘null and void’. The court has further held that Yumkham Erabot Singh duly elected as a member of 15-Wangkhei Assembly Constituency.

The development comes after Erabot Singh filed an election petition alleging that Henry failed to disclose the details of the Criminal pending case, his educational qualification and name of spouse and his dependents in his election affidavit filed in 2017.

The judgement given by a single-bench of Justice MV Muralidaran while disqualifying Henry for submitting an incomplete affidavit during the submission of the nomination paper before the poll in 2017 and declared Erabot Singh as MLA of Wangkhei in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election 2017.

“… but for reasons best known to him, (he) failed to disclose the said information. Non-disclosure of the material information of the Respondent No. 1 (Henry) amounts to a violation of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and rules thereof, and hence his election is fit to be declared as null and void,” the order said.

In the 2017 assembly election, Henry got 16,753 votes on a Congress ticket defeating Erabot Singh of BJP who won 12,417 votes.

Erabot Singh in his petition stated that Henry filed his highest educational qualification as BA from Punjab University in his nomination during the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election and filed “Class XII from Manipur Public School, CBSE” as the highest educational qualification in his nomination in 2017 election. Erabot Singh further alleged that Henry had not disclosed a criminal case and a narcotics case against him to the Election Commission.

It needs to be mentioned here that Henry who is the nephew of former Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh won from Wangkhei in 2017 on a Congress ticket. However, he left Congress after resigning along with five other Congress MLAs and switched to BJP.

Meanwhile, in September 2020, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh dropped six cabinet ministers and inducted five new MLAs, including Henry and he was assigned the portfolios of Social Welfare, Cooperation.

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