First Time: Supreme Court removed a state minister over Disqualification petition

On March 18, 2020, for the first time in its history, the Supreme Court removed the Manipur Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh from the state cabinet. The apex court has also been restrained him from entering the Legislative assembly.

What is the issue?

Mr Shyamkumar won the 2017 assembly elections on Congress Ticket and switched over to BJP to become the minister of Town Planning, forest and Environment. Disqualification petitions were filed against him to the speaker by the other MLAs. The Disqualification petitions against the minister was pending before the speaker of the Manipur Assembly since 2017. However, no action has still been taken. When the issue was appealed to SC, the apex court has invoked Article 142 and has removed the minister from the cabinet.

The SC also said that the speaker is to act as a tribunal in cases of disqualification petition under the tenth schedule.

Article 212

According to the Article 212, the courts in India including Supreme Court cannot interfere in the proceedings of the Legislature of state. No members, officers of the state are subjected to jurisdiction while exercising his duties or regulating procedures, maintaining order.

This has been over ruled by SC in this matter invoking Article 142. This is because, the matter was left unsolved. Also, under Anti-Defection law, the winning members cannot shift parties. Such members according to the law are considered disqualified.

Article 142

The Supreme Court under the article 142 can pass an order doing “complete justice” to matter pending before it.

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