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HC rejects Patel's plea to remove names of Shah, Irani as respondents

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Press Trust of India Ahmedabad
The Gujarat High Court Wednesday rejected senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel's plea seeking deletion of Union ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani's names as respondents in a petition, which challenged his election to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in 2017.
Justice Bela Trivedi rejected Patel's application on the ground that they are no longer Rajya Sabha members as they have been elected to the Lok Sabha in the recently-concluded general elections.
Patel's application is in connection with the election petition moved by BJP leader Balvantsinh Rajput, challenging the Congress leader's election to the Rajya Sabha from the state after winning the August 2017 election.
The court rejected his application, saying that Shah and Irani, who are now Union Home Minister and Union Textiles Minister respectively, were respondents from the beginning of the petition in view of the statutory requirement, and merely by vacating their offices, they do not cease to be the necessary parties.
The court is Thursday likely to decide on Patel's second application, in which he has sought experts' opinion on the originality of Rajput's signature on the copy of the petition sent to him, saying that in his opinion it was not the original signature of Rajput as claimed by him.
Patel said in his application that the petition sent to him by Rajput had a photocopy of his original signature and therefore it must be examined by experts.
Rajput had quit the Congress to join the BJP and contest the August 2017 Rajya Sabha election as its candidate.
He had moved the Gujarat High Court after he was defeated in the election amid cross voting by two Congress MLAs, which were eventually declared invalid by the Election Commission.
In his petition, Rajput had accused Patel of "bribery" and "undue influence" to win the election. The plea is being heard by the high court.
Patel was cross-examined as a witness for four days before his two applications came up for hearing Wednesday.

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First Published: Jun 26 2019 | 7:25 PM IST

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