ECI Clears Robert Romawia Royte in Office of Profit Case

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In a significant development, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has acquitted Robert Romawia Royte, former Mizoram sports minister and MLA from Aizawl East-II constituency, in an office of profit case. This decision comes following a petition filed by Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) general secretary SL Ngursailova, alleging that Royte violated the Representation of the People Act (RP Act) by owning a consultancy firm involved in state government contracts.

ECI’s Verdict and Governor’s Order

The ECI, in response to the state governor, clarified that Royte did not incur disqualification as an MLA under Article 191(l)(e) of the Indian Constitution and Section 9A of the RP Act. Subsequently, the governor issued an order on December 14, confirming Royte’s exoneration from holding an office of profit. The official gazette published this order on Thursday.

ECI Clears Robert Romawia Royte

Allegations Against Royte

The allegations against Royte centered on his ownership of North East Consultancy Services (NECS), accused of violating the RP Act. Ngursailova contended that Royte, while holding ministerial positions, continued running NECS, which secured government contracts. The ZPM leader also accused Royte of GST payment irregularities and concealing project details in his 2018 election affidavit.

ECI’s Response to Specific Charges

The ECI, in its detailed response, mentioned that Royte had legally transferred NECS proprietorship to his son before the 2018 polls. Additionally, it dismissed the false affidavit case, stating it falls outside the disqualification criteria under Article 191. The ECI clarified that the 2020 agreement between NECS and the state government was for consultancy services, not covered under RP Act disqualification clauses related to the execution of works or supply of goods.

Royte’s Reaction and Appreciation for ECI

Reelected from Hachhek constituency in the recent state assembly polls, Royte expressed satisfaction with the ECI’s decision. He emphasized his lack of personal animosity due to the case and commended the ECI for its rightful decision. Royte sees this outcome as an opportunity to enhance Mizos’ understanding of the country’s constitution and laws.

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