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Speakerís tribunal reserves verdict on minister
CORRESPONDENT
 IMPHAL, Feb 5 - The Manipur Legislative Assembly Speakerís tribunal reserved its judgement on the disqualification petitions filed against Cabinet minister Th Shyamkumar Singh. Sources said that the hearing at the Speakerís tribunal began at around 11 am on Tuesday wherein counsels of both the petitioners and respondents were present.

 During the hearing, the adjournment application filed by the respondentís counsel for taking up the matter only after February 11 in view of the Budget Session from February 14 was rejected.

Later, the tribunal directed the petitioners and respondents to submit their arguments in writing on or before February 12.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, counsel of the petitioners SG Hasnain said the tribunal has reserved its judgement in respect of the disqualification petitions filed against Shyamkumar and fixed February 12 as the date for filing any additional documents or written submission.

The petitions filed by Congress MLAs in 2018, sought disqualification of Shyamkumar under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution which is also known as the Anti-Defection Law. The petitioners had moved the Supreme Court after their petitions were kept pending at the Speakerís tribunal and the apex court last month directed the Speakerís tribunal to decide the disqualification petitions within four weeks.

In the last Assembly polls, Shyamkumar was elected from Andro on a Congress ticket, but he joined the BJP soon after the election results were declared, and helped the saffron party form the Government. Currently, Shyamkumar is a Cabinet minister in the BJP-led coalition Government in charge of Forest and Environment and Municipal Housing and Urban Development departments.

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