Manipur High Court nullifies Congress MLA’s election

Imphal, Feb 29 (IANS) The Manipur High Court on Monday nullified the election of Congress legislator Mairembam Prithiviraj on charges of falsifying his educational qualification.

The ruling came from Justice N. Koteswor after prolonged litigation that saw the dispute reach the Supreme Court at one stage.

This is the first time a Manipur legislator’s election has been declared null and void by a court.

In the 2012 assembly elections, Prithiviraj was elected from Moirang constituency, defeating the Nationalist Congress Party’s P. Saratchandra, a retired IAS officer.

Later, Saratchandra moved the high court, contending that Prithiviraj had falsely claimed that he had an MBA degree.

Known to be close to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Prithiviraj was a parliamentary secretary in charge of tourism, sports and information.

The case was heard in the Manipur High Court. Since Saratchandra was not happy with the inordinate delay in disposing the case, he appealed to the Supreme Court.

The apex court directed the Manipur High Court to dispose of the case in February this year.

It is too early to say if and when a by-election will be held in the constituency. Manipur goes to the polls in February 2017.

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