Gauhati High Court declares 2019 election of Arunachal Independent MLA, Karikho Kri, null and void

Karikho Kri is second Arunachal MLA to be disqualified in three months. 

Updated - July 19, 2023 11:31 am IST

Published - July 19, 2023 11:29 am IST - GUWAHATI

A view of the Gauhati High Court.

A view of the Gauhati High Court. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court has declared the election of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA in 2019 as null and void. 

Karikho Kri, who was elected four years ago as an independent MLA from the Tezu Assembly constituency, is the second representative to be unseated after the BJP’s Dasanglu Pul on April 25. The latter, representing the Hayuliang Assembly seat, had the High Court order stayed by the Supreme Court. 

The Itanagar bench of the Gauhati High Court pronounced the decision on July 17 after hearing the election petition filed by Congress candidate Nuney Tayang, challenging the declaration of the 2019 result in favour of Mr. Kri. 

Mr. Tayang had filed the petition under relevant sections of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, seeking a declaration that the election of his rival from the Tezu seat “be declared void” under Section 90(a)(c) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. 

The election in 2019 was held on April 11 and the result was declared on May 27. 

Mr. Tayang alleged that Mr. Kri made false declarations in his election nomination paper and did not disclose in Form 26 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, that he was in occupation of a government-allotted MLA cottage in Itanagar. 

He also claimed that Mr. Kri did not submit “no dues certificates” from the departments concerned regarding rent, electricity, water, and telephone charges. 

Declaring Mr Kri’s election void, Justice Nani Tagia said the court was of the considered opinion that he did not present his nomination paper in accordance with Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act. As such, his nomination paper was liable to be rejected under Section 36(2)(b) of the Representation of the People Act. 

The court also found fault with the returning officer whose acceptance of Mr Kri’s nomination paper was “improper”. 

On July 18, Mr Tayang’s legal counsel wrote a letter to Assembly Speaker Pasang Dorjee Sona, seeking immediate consideration of the high court judgement. 

Mr. Kri could not be contacted for his comment.

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