The Karnataka High Court on Friday upheld the election of BJP’s S. Pakkirappa to the Lok Sabha from the Raichur (ST) Parliamentary Constituency in the election held in 2009 and dismissed the petition filed by a defeated candidate challenging the election result.

Justice Mohan Shantangoudar passed the order while dismissing the petition filed by K. Devanna Naik, a Janata Dal(S) candidate.

The petitioner had claimed that Mr. Pakkirappa had submitted false caste certificate and that he was not the official candidate of the BJP as he was not given the “B” form by the BJP.

The court declared that Mr. Pakkirappa’s caste, Valmiki, comes under the category of Scheduled Tribes, while pointing out that the mention in his caste certificate — “(Hindu) Valmiki” — does not disqualify him as “(Hindu)” mentioned in the certificate belongs to his religion. Moreover, his school certificate states that he belongs to Nayaka (Valmiki) caste.

The court also found that the petitioner had not challenged the caste certificate when the returning officer accepted it.

Mr. Shantangoudar said that in the “B” form issued by the BJP to Raja Amareshwar Naik, who withdrew his nomination on the day of scrutiny of nomination papers, the party had entered the name of Mr. Pakkirappa in the column earmarked for substituted candidates.

As Mr. Naik withdrew his nomination papers, the returning officer rightly considered the “B” form in favour of Mr. Pakkirappa, the court held.

Mr. Pakkirappa secured 3,16,460 votes defeating Raja Venkatappa Naik, who polled 2,65,814 votes. Mr. Devanna Naik secured 29,317 votes.

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