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SC adjourns hearing on plea by sacked BSF Jawan whose nomination against Modi got rejected


Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Supreme Court Friday adjourned by two weeks the hearing on sacked BSF Jawan Tej Bahadur's plea challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict which had dismissed his election petition against the poll panel's decision to reject his nomination papers for contesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, conducting hearing through video conferencing, perused the letter circulated by Bahadur's counsel seeking adjournment of four weeks and said that the matter will be listed for hearing after two weeks.

Senior advocates Harish Salve and Satyapal Jain, appeared for the respondent (Modi), who has been arrayed as party by Bahadur.

He said the high court on December 6 last year dismissed his election petition on the ground of no locus and observed that he is neither a registered voter nor the resident of the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.

He said he challenged rejection of his nomination paper by the returning officer and the High Court committed grave error by dismissing the plea because it has not considered the law laid down by the top court that when any person has filed his nomination in any constituency and his candidature has been rejected by the Returning Officer then he has locus to file Election Petition on sole ground of his rejection order.

In a nut-shell the factual matrix of the case is that on the directions of the Returning officer, the nomination of the appellant to the elections was wrongly rejected for not being presented in a prescribed manner and rejected the nomination/candidature of the Appellant for the Election of the 17th Lok Sabha from 77th Parliamentary Constituency (Varanasi), U.P. to be held in April May 2019, his plea said.

Bahadur said he has sought a declaration that the election of respondent (Narendra Modi) be declared as void and the order passed by the returning officer dated May 1, 2019, rejecting his nomination be set aside.

He said the high court failed to appreciate that the nomination letter of the appellant has been rejected by the district Election Officer by going against the intention of the legal provisions and by misusing the provisions mentioned in the sections 9 and 33(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Because the High Court failed to appreciate that the reply dated April 30, 2019 attached along with the Service Termination Order dated April 19, 2017 and reply/attached oath letter submitted to the District Election Officer, this fact was well established that the sections 9 and 33(3) do not apply on that case, but the District Election Officer/Election Officer who was also the district magistrate, misused his post and position and cancelled the nomination letter of the appellant on May 1, 2019, his plea said.

On May 9, last year, the top court had rejected his plea by which he has challenged the Election Commission's decision to reject his nomination papers from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

The top court had said that it does not find any grounds to entertain the plea.

Bahadur had then moved the top court challenging the decision of Returning Officer (RO) to reject his nomination papers from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, saying it was intended to "give walkover" to PM Modi.

The Returning Officer on May 1 last year had rejected the nomination papers of Bahadur, a Samajwadi Party candidate, who was dismissed from BSF in 2017 after he posted a video online complaining about the quality of food served to the troops.

The poll panel official held that Bahadur failed to furnish a certificate as mandated under the Representation of Peoples (RP) Act to the effect that he has not been "dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state".

The Samajwadi Party had initially fielded Shalini Yadav as its candidate to contest against PM Modi but later nominated the sacked BSF jawan as it candidate.

While rejecting the nomination papers of Bahadur, the Returning Officer had observed that "the nomination paper is not accompanied by certificate issued in the prescribed manner by the Election Commission to the effect that he has not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state".

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

First Published: Fri, May 22 2020. 13:41 IST