The Manipur High Court on Thursday set aside the 2017 election of BJP legislator Okram Henry, a Minister in the N. Biren Singh government, for filing incorrect and incomplete information in his election affidavit.
A single-judge bench of Justice M.V. Muralidaran declared that the petitioner, Yumkham Erabot, also of the BJP, is duly elected as a member of 15-Wangkhei Assembly constituency.
Contesting as a Congress candidate in 2017, Mr. Henry had defeated Mr. Erabot by 4,336 votes to win the seat. He later defected to the BJP and was appointed a Minister.
The petitioner said Mr. Henry had furnished incorrect educational qualification and also did not give full details of a criminal case as well as a case of smuggling narcotic drugs against him in the affidavit.
According to his 2012 election affidavit, Mr Henry’s obtained Bachelor of Arts degree from the Panjab University, but the 2017 affidavit said his highest educational qualification was Class XII.
The petitioner said a criminal case was pending against Mr. Henry before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West, much before the filing of the nomination. This pertained to a dishonoured cheque for ₹10 lakh he had issued to a complainant company.
Mr. Erabot also cited a special trial case pending against Mr. Henry before the court of Special Judge, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, in which he was charged with illegally transporting contraband drugs.
“The nomination paper of the Respondent No. 1 (Mr. Henry) was improperly accepted by the Returning Officer as it is admitted facts that the Respondent No. 1 failed to disclose the name of his spouse and dependants, details of criminal cases pending against him and his educational qualification. As such, election of the Respondent No. 1 is liable to be declared as null and void,” Justice Muralidaran’s order read.