KARNATAKA

Notice to MP on poll petition

BANGALORE, JULY 24. The Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered issue of notice to Venkatesh Naik and other respondents on a petition by Raja Madan Gopal Naik.

The petitioner challenged the election of Mr. Venkatesh Naik of the Congress as a Member of Parliament from Raichur. He said he had contested the election as a Janata Dal (Secular) candidate and lost by 508 votes. His request to the Returning Officer for recounting votes was rejected. This was wrong and illegal, he said. Justice N.K. Patil ordered issue of notice to Venkatesh Naik and other respondents. In another case, Justice Manjula Chellur ordered issue of notice to B. Shivaramu of the Congress and the Returning Officer for the Gandasi Assembly Constituency on a petition by K.M. Shivalinge Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular). The petitioner charged that the Returning Officer did not follow the rules while counting votes. The officer, he said, had arbitrarily rejected 116 votes, which otherwise would have ensured his victory.

Allowed

Justice A.M. Farooq allowed a petition against the seizure of 910 bags of rice in Hunsur by the police. The petitioners, Rahim and Khader, challenged the seizure of rice on July 20, 2003. The Hunsur police claimed that the rice was meant for distribution under the Public Distribution System (PDS). The police said the rice belonged to the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The petitioners said the seizure was flawed as Clause 10 of the PDS Order stated that neither the police nor the tahsildar had any authority to conduct searches or seize foodgrains. This power was vested only with the officials of the Food and Civil Supplies Department.

Adjourned

The petitions by Guru Binny Rice Mill and Mittal Agro challenging the seizure of rice by the State authorities came up for hearing on Friday. The rice was seized from the premises of the two companies on the ground that it belonged to the FCI. The authorities stated that the rice was meant for distribution under the PDS and the food-for-work programme. The companies claimed that the rice belonged to them.Justice S.R. Bannurmath adjourned the case to August 3.

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