The Supreme Court today asked the Gujarat High Court not to proceed with the hearing on a plea filed by a BJP leader challenging senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel's election to the Rajya Sabha, after framing of issues in the case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also issued the notice to BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput on the appeal of Patel seeking a stay on the proceedings before the high court in the matter. Rajput had lost the election to Patel and had later challenged the election in the high court.
The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, granted two weeks to Rajput to file his reply to the petition.
It also granted two weeks thereafter to Patel to file his rejoinder and ordered that the plea would be heard after completion of the pleadings.
The senior Congress leader has challenged the April 22 order of the high court which had dismissed his plea.
He had contended before the High Court that the election petition was "not at all maintainable" and should be "dismissed at the threshold" as it violated the provisions of the Representation of People's Act, 1951.
The plea said the decision of the poll panel cannot be challenged in an election petition. "Election Application ...was preferred by the Petitioner (Rajput) under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC praying for dismissal of the Election Petition for non disclosure of cause of action," it said, while seeking a stay on the proceedings before the Gujarat High Court.
The win for the Congress leader had come after the Election Commission had cancelled the votes of rebel Congress MLAs, Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel. This had brought down the requirement for an outright victory for a candidate to 44 from 45.
Soon after Patel got elected, Rajput had filed a petition in the high court challenging the poll panel's decision to invalidate the votes of the two rebel MLAs. Had these votes been counted, he would have defeated Patel, Rajput had contended in the High Court.
In his petition in the high court, Rajput had also alleged that Patel had taken the party MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru before the election, which, he claimed, amounted to bribing the voters.
Patel had challenged Rajput's plea and sought its dismissal for not serving the respondents an attested copy of the petition as required under the law.
The high court, however, rejected his plea and said the petitioner had substantially complied with the provisions of law and the defects could be easily cured.
Patel moved the top court against the high court order, saying that Rajput's petition was "devoid of merits" and failed to show any "cause of action".
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)