The Madras High Court on Friday upheld the election of former Minister M.K.Alagiri from the Madurai Lok Sabha constituency in the 2009 polls.

Dismissing an election petition (EP) challenging his election, Justice V.Dhanapalan said that in the absence of any concrete, cogent and clinching evidence coupled with supporting documents and in view of non-examination of crucial witnesses and inconsistencies in witnesses’ statements, it was highly difficult for the court to conclude that Mr.Alagiri resorted to corrupt practices as alleged.

Originally, the election petition was filed by P.Mohan, the CPI (M) candidate in the constituency. He died later. A.Lazar, CPI (M)’s alternative candidate for the polls, who withdrew his nomination after Mohan’s candidature was accepted, was substitute petitioner in the EP.

The election was held on May 13, 2009.

The petitioner alleged that Mr.Alagiri bribed electors by distributing money. The DMK nominee appointed various persons to act as his agents to induce electors to vote for him.

In the nearly 130-page judgment, Mr.Justice Dhanapalan said newspaper reports by themselves were not evidence of the contents.

Without examining the editor or reporter concerned, it was impermissible to give credence to the reports.

Though witnesses had deposed of certain incidents of distribution of money, saris and dhotis, their failure to examine the persons who received the same did not favour the petitioner’s case.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National