: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on a petition filed by DMK Member of Parliament A.K.S. Vijayan against a Madras High Court judgment dismissing his plea to pursue the case after the death of former MP, C. Kuppusamy. The apex court, acting on an appeal from Ms. Jayalalithaa, had quashed two criminal cases filed by the Election Commission against her in Bhuvanagiri and Pudukottai for filing false affidavits during the 2001 Assembly polls when she filed four nominations. The matter was remitted back to the High Court after taking into consideration the reports of the two Returning Officers of Bhuvanagiri and Pudukottai.

Mr. Kuppusamy pursued the matter and after judgment was reserved by a Division Bench on March 6, the petitioner died. Mr. Vijayan filed an application for substitution and to pursue the matter further. The Bench dismissed the application for substitution and the main petition on the ground that it abated after the death of Mr. Kuppusamy. The present appeal is directed against this judgment.

A Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and Madan B. Lokur issued notice to Ms. Jayalalithaa and the Election Commission after hearing senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina and counsel V.G. Pragasam, appearing for Mr. Vijayan. The appellant said, “He is entitled to substitute himself in the place of the deceased petitioner, since he was also a complainant to the Election Commission against Ms. Jayalalithaa and since the deceased petitioner, a Senior Member, was pursuing the matter with his consent he did not file a separate Writ Petition.”

A candidate can file nomination only in two constituencies and filing nomination in more than two constituencies is an electoral offence. Since the Returning officers did not take action against Ms. Jayalalithaa when complaints were filed, Kuppusamy filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court, which in June 2007 directed the Election Commission to register criminal cases against her.