VISHNU NEOPANEYThe Sikkim Democratic Front has withdrawn expulsion orders served last September to the Zilla Panchayat of Rangyang Yangang constituency and 14 Gram panchayat members from there. They had been expelled for alleged anti-party activities in the wake of the assembly bye-elections which SDF lost from Rangang-Yangang. Nearly a year since, the party, on 11 August last week, issued an order stating that the expulsions stand cancelled.
It may be recalled that following their expulsion, the said panchayat members had been disqualified from their elected posts by the Rural Management & Development Department in light of anti-defection laws, an order which the panchayat members had challenged in the High Court of Sikkim.
Following the SDF’s withdrawal of the expulsions, the RM&DD too, on 18 August, published a Gazette Notification withdrawing its disqualification of the Panchayats and reinstating them to their elected posts. Accordingly, today, the 15 panchayat members in question also withdrew their writ petition from the High Court. Interestingly, four of 15 expelled Panchayat members were not even elected on SDF tickets and had contested the panchayat elections as Independents.
The 15 panchayat members had challenged the RM&DD order removing them from office alleging that the concerned authority had not followed proper procedure in taking the said decision. The High Court had in turn had stayed the said notification. Now, the court case is also over.