After SC’s stay on High Court order, Manipur leader is MP again

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Manipur High Court order canceling the election of Lok Sabha MP Lorho S Phoje to the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency on a Naga People’s Front (NPF) ticket.

The HC annulled his election in September for filing a false affidavit and BJ P’s Hawlim Shokhopao Met, alias Benjamin Met, was declared the new elected MP of the seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes. Ffoje reached the Supreme Court against the order of the High Court. In interim relief to him, a bench of Chief Justice U U Lalit, Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice S Ravindra Bhat stayed the operation of the High Court order. It directed that the MP can take part in the proceedings of Parliament but barred him from casting his vote in the House. The single bench of the HC had passed the order on a petition filed by Benjamin under the provisions of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951. In the 2019 electoral battle, Loho won with 3,63,527 votes and Benjamin came second with 2,89,745 votes.

In his petition, Benjamin alleged that during the election’s investigation, the returning officer had “suddenly and improperly” accepted Lorho’s nomination papers, alleging that Lorho had taken various forms of his assets, including money and land. Wrong numbers were entered in his Affidavit.