Court stays election of AGP president

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A local court has stayed all the election of the Asom Gana Parishad president Atul Bora and all resolutions adopted at its August 27 general body meeting held in “defiance” of the court’s status quo order.

The regional party is a partner in the first BJP-led governent in Assam and its president Atul Bora is a minister in the Sarbananda Sonowal cabinet.

Hearing the petition filed by AGP’s Guwahati City Committee, the Civil Judge (Senior Division) number 3 in the district and sessions court of Kamrup Metropolitan, Shakti Sharma said holding the public gathering was a violation of “injunction order”.

“Any act done in violation of order of injunction would be non est (not there) in the eye of law and hence would be unenforceable,” the Court said in its order dated September 5.

“I am of the considered opinion that in the interest of justice, the O.P (opposite party) should refrain themselves from giving effect to all the resolutions passed in the meeting held on 27.08.20,” the judge said in his order.

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The court also asked AGP to preserve the attendance register, proceeding book of the meeting, CCTV footages and photographs of the congregation held on August 27 at the regional party’s headquarter in Guwahati.

On August 26 it had ordered AGP not to hold its ‘Kendriya Sadharan Parishad’ meet scheduled the next day citing violation of the party’s Constitution and COVID-19 guidelines and asked the party to maintain status quo till the next date, which was fixed on November 19.

AGP had, howver, defied the court order and went ahead with the public gathering citing non-receipt of the order. It re-elected all its existing office bearers, including the incumbent president Atul Bora unopposed.

Bora is also the state agriculture minister.

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The court rejected AGP’s claim of non-receipt of the order and said it was delivered to AGP through “electronic means”.

The judge said as the injunction order had been immediately forwarded to Bora and others through Whatsapp and was telecast in TV news channels and in radio channels as well on the evening of August 26, while the news was published in all leading newspapers of August 27.

On the day of the meeting, AGP MLA Satyabrat Kalita had told reporters “We have not received any court order yet.

We have read it in today’s newspapers. But we cannot work based on media reports only.”

The case was jointly filed by AGP’s Guwahati City Committee’s president Jiten Deka, working president Hemen Lahkar and secretary Girin Talukdar, who were removed from their posts after they opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in 2019.

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The controversial general body meeting had ended within just 45 minutes when the messenger of the order was present at the AGP head office, the court noted.

“Process servers were made to serve notice upon the AGP general secretary at about 11:45 am and before that they were made to run from pillar to post for about one hour or so for proper identification of a person to whom notice is to be served,” the order said.

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