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HC seeks EC reply on plea to de-register ruling NDPP in Nagaland


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought response of the Election Commission on a plea seeking de-registration of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which leads the alliance government in Nagaland.
Justice Yogesh Khanna also sought reply of NDPP on the petition filed by a resident of the state, challenging the order passed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) dismissing her plea.
The plea filed by Zeneisilie Ate Louchii accused several NDPP members of furnishing "false" and "fabricated" information while seeking registration as a political party.
Formed in October 2017, NDPP is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with which it formed a government in the state after the March 2018 assembly polls.
While the NDPP got the chief minister's post, the BJP filled the deputy chief minister's post in the state. NDPP is led by Neiphu Rio as the chief minister of Nagaland.
Senior advocate Arvind Nigam and advocate Arunabh Chowdhury, appearing for Louchii, said the registration of the party had been obtained by playing a fraud on the ECI.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on April 10.
Besides seeking de-registration of NDPP as a political party under Section 29-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the plea has also sought cancellation of all consequential steps/actions taken pursuant thereto, including the recognition granted to it as a state party in Nagaland on April 17, 2018.
According to the ECI's guidelines, individual affidavits from at least 100 members of the party should be filed stating that they are registered electors and not a member of any other political party registered with the commission.
However, the petitioner said out of 100, 27 members made false statement that they were not member of any other political party registered with the commission.
She said several members of the party (NDPP) were also members of another regional party the Naga People's Front (NPF) at the time of furnishing of affidavits to the ECI.
The plea also challenged the ECI's February 7 order on the ground that it was bad in law and ex-facie untenable.
"The impugned order (of ECI) discloses a complete dereliction of the power and function conferred on the commission and despite clinching and robust material placed before it establishing the fraud played by the NDPP while seeking its registration as a political party, the ECI dismissed the petition filed by the petitioner seeking deregistration of the NDPP as a political party," it said.

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First Published: Feb 27 2019 | 7:13 PM IST

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