The Supreme Court today set aside the order passed by the Speaker of the Manipur Assembly disqualifying three Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) for allegedly defecting to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)..The Bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi remanded the petition for disqualification to the Speaker Y Khemchand Singh, who is required to decide it afresh..The three MLAs - Kshetrimayum Biren Singh, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh and Sanasam Bira Singh - challenged the order passed by the Manipur High Court on June 2, 2021 upholding the June 2020 decision of the Speaker to disqualify them.The three MLAs had been elected to the Assembly in 2017 on Congress party tickets. However, it was alleged that they gave up their membership of the party and supported the ruling BJP for the purpose of strengthening the coalition government in the State.Disqualification petitions came to be filed against them before the Speaker. Their conduct, including their participation in various BJP events, was shown as proof that they had defected to BJP. The Speaker had allowed the petitions on June 18, 2020..The High Court in its judgment held that the Speaker had passed the disqualification order after taking into consideration all the pleadings, newspaper reports, and photographs and DVDs filed in connection with the disqualification cases. The MLAs had not disputed the authenticity of such reports, the High Court further noted.It, therefore, ruled that the orders of the Speaker were in accordance with the provisions of Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India and did not call for any interference. The MLAs thus approached the Supreme Court in appeal against this order..During a previous hearing before the apex court, Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi contended that there were procedural and substantive irregularities in the order passed by the Speaker."But the principles of natural justice have not been followed. The case is built on newspaper reports that I was meeting BJP officials. The High Court said that I have not denied newspaper reports that I met BJP leaders. This is wrong. I will show you the Written Statement. I have not admitted anything," Rohatgi said..Supreme Court seeks response from Manipur Assembly Speaker on plea by three Manipur MLAs against disqualification for alleged defection to BJP.Detailed order awaited.