SC stays decision on Chudasama’s election

Gujarat HC had nullified the 2017 election of Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on grounds of malpractice and manipulation

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed a decision of the Gujarat High Court which nullified the 2017 election of law and education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama on grounds of malpractice and manipulation.

The High Court had held that the Returning Officer “illegally rejected” 429 postal ballots during the counting of votes, while the victory margin was only 327.

Congress candidate Ashwin Rathod had challenged his Bharatiya Janata Party rival’s victory from Dholka constituency by a margin of mere 327 votes in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls.

A Bench of Justices M. Shantanagoudar and R. Subhas Reddy, conducting the hearing through video conferencing, issued notice on Mr. Chudasama’s plea and sought response from Mr. Rathod and other parties in the case.

Seeking a stay order, Mr. Chudasama had said the High Court committed an error. The Minister had submitted that the High Court had not appreciated that Mr. Rathod did not have any reliable and cogent evidence to prove any of the issues. Therefore, Mr. Rathod was not entitled to be declared as duly elected candidate from “58- Dholakia Constituency” for the Gujarat State Assembly Elections on December 14, 2017.

The High Court had found that the procedure adopted for counting of votes was “against the orders of the Election Commission of India (EC)” and illegal. It concluded that Mr. Chudasama indulged in “corrupt practice” under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 4:26:08 PM |

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