Supreme Court stays HC proceedings on plea challenging Kanimozhi’s election as MP in 2019

DMK MP Kanimozhi.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Madras High Court proceedings on a plea challenging DMK MP M.K. Kanimozhi’s election as the parliamentarian from the Thoothukudi constituency in 2019.

A Bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde froze the High Court proceedings on an appeal filed Ms. Kanimozhi against the High Court decision to examine a petition filed by A. Santhana Kumar challenging her election as the Thoothukudi MP.

In her appeal, Ms. Kanimozhi, represented by senior advocate P. Wilson and Joseph Aristotle, said the High Court erroneously banked on a petition which was at best “vague and without material facts”.

PAN number of spouse

The High Court proceeded on the notion that Ms. Kanimozhi refused to disclose the PAN number of her spouse. Ms. Kanimozhi’s Form 26, submitted with her nomination papers, clearly states that her husband does not have a PAN card in the first place.

“The petitioner (Kanimozhi) has clearly mentioned that her spouse does not have a PAN number. If the first respondent (Kumar) herein contends that this statement is wrong, he ought to substantiate the allegation that the statement is incorrect. Without these averments, the bald and vague statement that petitioner has not provided her spouse’s PAN cannot be maintained in an election petition in light of several judgments of the Supreme Court,” the petition said.

Ms. Kanimozhi had asked whether it was justified on the part of the High Court to add averments in the election petition as regards the petitioner’s husband’s income tax reference number?

“When even the election petitioner does not make an averment that the petitioner’s spouse possesses a PAN card or any such card in Singapore, whether it was correct on part of the High Court to frame such an allegation?” the petition said.

Mr. Kumar, in his election petition, had not brought even a single material fact to substantiate his case that Ms. Kanimozhi’s nomination was improper. In fact, Ms. Kanimozhi said his election petition contained hollow allegations chanted over and over like a mantra.

Ms. Kanimozhi's appeal in the Supreme Court had urged for a stay of the High Court proceedings, saying she would otherwise be “forced to face the rigours of trial, which will not only hamper the work of the petitioner as the elected candidate of the people but also cause severe hardships to the petitioner, who will be forced to constantly be in Chennai instead of attending to her official work in Delhi and constituency work in Thoothukudi”.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 9:37:58 AM |

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