The Governor has disposed of the disqualification petition against Aldona BJP MLA, Glen Ticlo on question of maintainability and jurisdiction, citing the opinion of the Election Commission of India.
“I hereby order that the above mentioned disqualification petition… is not maintainable as per the Election Commission of India’s opinion…” and accordingly the petition is disposed off, the Governor B V Wanchoo wrote to the petitioner.
The petition was filed before the Governor under Article 191 (1) (d) and Article 192 (2) of the Constitution which he sent to the EC for its opinion.
In the order disposing of the petition, the Governor said that as the Election Commission had returned the matter “to me” with the opinion that it was “not maintainable” under Article 192 of the Constitution and he had to act according to the opinion of the EC.
According to the ECI opinion, in this case “if at all any disqualification was attracted, it cannot be raised before the Governor” and also that it (EC) also does not have any jurisdiction to give an opinion.
Congress spokesperson Sudip Tamankar and Calvim resident Melwyn Fernandes had filed petitions alleging that the Aldona MLA was not an Indian citizen at the time he had filed his nomination for the assembly election. According to Article 192, “If any question arises as to whether a member of a House of the Legislature of a State has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause (1) of Article 191, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Governor and his decision shall be final. And, before giving any decision on any such question, the Governor shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion.”
Margao reporter adds: With Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo dismissing the disqualification petition against Aldona MLA Glen Ticlo, the petitioner’s lawyer now looks forward for an early hearing on a petition which is filed before the Union Home Ministry to decide the status of the MLA under the Citizenship Act.
Adv Radharao Gracias representing the petitioner Melvyn Fernandes said he had filed a petition before the Union Home Minister on January 9 to decide on Ticlo’s citizenship along with that of Benaulim MLA Caitu Silva.
“It’s nearly two months now, but we have not received any intimation or correspondence from the Union Home Minister on our petitions,” he said, adding that he is representing both the petitioners who have filed petitions against Caitu and Ticlo.
“We had doubts whether the governor had the jurisdiction to decide on the disqualification plea against the. Hence, we had moved the Union Home Ministry to decide the question of Ticlo’s citizenship under section 9 of the Citizenship Act. So far, there’s no communication received from the Home Minister for a hearing on the two petitions”, he said, adding that he would send a reminder to the Union Home Ministry for a hearing at the earliest.
“Once we get the order from the Union Home Ministry that both Caitu and Ticlo are no longer Indian Citizens, we will probably move the governor again for a decision,” he added. [H]