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Guj HC terminates BJP MLA's election over defective nomination

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

The High Court Friday invalidated the election of BJP MLA from Assembly seat for submitting a defective

Manek's victory from the Assembly constituency in 2017 was challenged in the high court by his opponent and candidate

Ahir, in his petition, has said Manek's election should be set aside as he had submitted a defective having no mention about the name and number of the constituency, that is '82-Dwarka'.

Admitting the contention raised by Ahir, Justice Friday cancelled the election held for the seat in December 2017, saying that the defect in the was a "defect of substantial character as contemplated under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951".

Though Ahir also sought to declare himself as the winner for garnering second highest vote after Manek in the poll, the court has not accepted that prayer and only ordered the cancellation of the election of Manek, who is a seven-time MLA from that constituency.

In his petition, Ahir claimed that there was no mention of the name and number of the constituency in Manek's nomination form, a lapse which calls for cancellation of his election.

As per the petition, Manek's proposer Dharnant Bhulabhai Chavda mentioned his own name in a column meant for mentioning the number of and name of the constituency, that is '82-Dwarka'.

Instead of writing '82-Dwarka' in the specified space, Chavda wrote his full name in the nomination form.

Though Ahir had raised the objection during the scrutiny process, his objection was not taken into account by the returning officer, after which he had knocked the doors of the high court to set aside the election.

During the past hearing, Manek's lawyers had tried to convince the court that the defect was not of a 'substantial character', which calls for the rejection.

However, the high court held that it was indeed a 'defect of substantial character' as per the Representation of the People Act and according to some past judgements.

The court also noted that the returning officer's action of rejecting the objections filed by Ahir at that time against Manek's nomination was "illegal".

The court said the result of the election has been "materially affected by improper acceptance" of the nomination of Manek at that time.

"In view of the above, the election of Manek from '82-Dwarka Constituency' for the Legislative Assembly Election is declared as void under Section 100 (1)(d)(i) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951," mentioned the order of Justice

The court had also rejected Manek's plea for a temporary stay on the judgement.

After the order, for said that they would report the matter to the and wait for further instructions.

said he has to accept the high court order, which effectively mean that Manek ceases to be an MLA.

"At this juncture, we have to accept the fact that Manek ceases to be an MLA after the HC verdict. However, if the stays this order, then it's a different situation," he said.

"As of now, the high court order is in effect and it created a situation wherein Manek has to lose his membership of the Assembly," said Trivedi, without elaborating as to what action he was supposed to take after the high court order.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 22:25 IST