HC dismisses pleas on nomination-filing, ‘provocative’ speeches during electioneering

Describing some observations made by the BRS chief at the election meeting as ‘instigating’, the petitioner requested the HC to direct election authorities to take action against him

November 18, 2023 08:42 am | Updated November 23, 2023 02:29 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Telangana High Court on November 17 dismissed a writ petition seeking instructions to Election Commission of India (ECI) to initiate action against Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi chief and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for his alleged provocative remarks during the recent Bhainsa election campaign meeting.

The plea was filed by National Students Union of India (a students’ body affiliated to Congress party) state president Balmoori Venkat Narsing Rao. Describing some observations made by the BRS chief at the election meeting as ‘instigating’, the petitioner requested the HC to direct election authorities to take action against him.

A bench of Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice N.V. Shravan Kumar, after hearing contentions of the petitioner’s counsel, observed that it was too early for the petitioner to move court on the matter. The petitioner approached the ECI on November 3 with a complaint to take action against the BRS chief. Without giving breathing space to the election authorities occupied with poll-related works, he approached the HC, the bench said.

The bench also dismissed another writ petition filed by BSP nominee from Madhira constituency Manduri Sharada, who filed photocopies of Form A and Form B while filing nomination papers, seeking direction to the returning officer to set aside the decision of rejecting her nomination. Senior counsel Avinash Desai appearing for the ECI contended that the HC cannot interfere in the matter as per Article 329-B of the Constitution of India.

The Returning Officer (RO) had already rejected her nomination papers as she filed photocopies of the documents instead of the original ones, the counsel informed the bench. The division bench noted that the petitioner can file an election petition for redressal of her grievance.

Another petition seeking a direction to reject the nomination papers filed by Excise Minister V. Srinivas Goud, contesting on BRS ticket from Mahbubnagar, stating that the RO had not replied to the objections over Mr. Goud’s affidavit was also dismissed by the bench. The petitioner Ch. Raghavendra Raju maintained that he raised objections over the affidavit filed by Mr. Goud and the RO had not responded over it.

Senior counsel Mr. Desai explained to the bench that the RO had on November 13 replied to the objections raised by Mr. Raju. He presented the copy of the RO’s direction to the bench, which dismissed the petition as the petitioner chose to withdraw it.

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