The Manipur High Court on Friday declared Naga Peoples Front MP Lorho S Pfoze’s election to the Lok Sabha as “null and void”, three years after he was elected. The court declared that the petitioner in the case, BJP’s Houlim Shokhopao Mate was hence “duly elected” to represent the Outer Manipur constituency.
Houlim Shokhopao Mate, 36, had filed an election petition in the Manipur High Court in 2019 claiming that an affidavit filed by Lorho S Pfoze, 59, during the 2019 election process had “many defects, errors and was incomplete”.
A single bench of the high court comprising Justice MV Muralidaran declared Lorho S Pfoze’s election as “null and void” and stated Mr Mate as the constituency’s new elected representative to the Lok Sabha.
“The claim of the petitioner to declare him an elected member cannot be denied for the reason that among all the candidates contested, the petitioner secured the highest votes after the first respondent,” the judge said. While Mr Pfoze had secured 3,63,527 votes, Mr Mate lost out by 2,89,745 votes in the 2019 election.
In his petition Mr Mate claimed that Mr Pfoze had not complied with the prescribed format of an affidavit that was filed along with his nomination papers.
“He left certain columns blank, did not disclose the movable and immovable assets of himself, his spouse and his dependents and made false statements on oath and have concealed material facts …which has materially affected the election of the petitioner,” the petition read, as reported by news agency ANI.