NEW DELHI: The Solicitor General on Thursday assured the Supreme Court that the Manipur Governor will take a decision soon on the Election Commission of India opinion on disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs in the office-of-profit matter. A bench headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that he should use his good offices in the matter.
Citing the opinion given by the Election Commission of India, in January, the bench, also comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and B. V. Nagarathna said: "According to Article 192 (of Constitution), the Governor has to go with the decisions. In 11 months, nothing has happened. We don't want to pass an order, but please your good offices so that an opinion is given so that it can be challenged".
Mehta replied, "I assure we'll do something and no direction will be required to be passed". On November 9, the Supreme Court had observed that the Manipur Governor cannot delay a decision on the recommendation made by the Election Commission of India on disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs on the issue of the office of profit.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioner, had submitted that a constitutional authority cannot keep the decision pending, and emphasised that just one month remains in the expiry of the term and post that everything will be over.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing the Election Commission, submitted before the bench that its opinion was binding on the Governor. The Election Commission had furnished the opinion in January this year. The bench agreed with the submissions of counsel that the Governor cannot delay the decision in the matter. The bench, citing the case of Rajiv Gandhi convicts, observed there have been instances where the Governor has been nudged to take decisions in a time-bound manner.
The bench issued notice to the Secretary to the Governor on a plea seeking to bring on record the decision and scheduled the matter for further hearing on November 11.
The apex court was hearing a writ petition by Congress MLA, D.D. Thaisii, seeking disqualification of 12 BJP MLAs.
The plea had pointed out that these MLAs were holding posts of Parliamentary Secretaries which amounted to an office of profit. The state government counsel sought adjournment stating the Solicitor General was engaged before another bench, but the bench replied that the government cannot make this petition infructuous by taking adjournments and pointed at the one month left in the expiry of the term. (IANS)