Ker HC directs EC to file counter to pleas of 2 BJP candidates against rejection of their nominations


PTI, Mar 21, 2021, 6:10 PM IST

Kochi:  The Kerala High Court on Sunday sought the response of the Election Commission to pleas by two BJP candidates challenging the Returning Officers” decision rejecting their nominations for the April 6 assembly polls. At a special sitting, Justice N Nagaresh directed the EC to submit its counter-affidavit on Monday and posted the petitions for further hearing at 12 noon.

During the hearing on Sunday,the Election Commission, citing Constitutional provisions, opposed the pleas, contending that since the election process has set in, the intervention of the court was not warranted. BJP”s N Haridas and Nivedida Subramanian petitioned the court after their nominations were rejected during scrutiny on the ground that their papers did not have the signature of the party”s state president. In their pleas, they contended that their respective Returning Officers should have given them time to rectify the defects which were not fatal. BJP fielded Haridas, party”s Kannur district president, and Nivedita, Mahila Morcha state president, as its nominees in Thalassery in Kannur district and Guruvayur in Thrissur district respectively.

In her petition, Nivedita contended that the Guruvayur Returning Officer”s action was “absolutely authorised and arbitrary” in rejecting the nomination solely on the ground that the intimation in Form B of the Conduct of Election rules submitted at the time of scrutiny was belated. She submitted that the Returning Officer acted without jurisdiction in ignoring Rule-4 of the Conduct of Election Rules clearly specifying that the defects in Form A or B are not fatal to the nomination. Seeking the intervention of the court, Nivedita claimed the action of Returning Officer was malafide and amounted to abuse of power which will stall the elections. The nomination of BJP ally AIADMKs candidate R M Dhanalakshmi was also rejected at Devikulam in Idukki district.

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