SC defers hearing on plea against LS polls at Wayanad, Ernakulam


PTI, Jun 10, 2020, 8:22 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday deferred the hearing by two weeks on a plea challenging the election of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi in 2019 from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala.

The top court was to hear the appeal of one Saritha S Nair against the October 31, 2019 decision of the Kerala High Court by which her election petitions challenging the Lok Sabha polls in Wayanad and Ernakulam also were dismissed.

Nair’s nomination papers for contesting Lok Sabha polls from Wayanad and Ernakulam Lok Sabha seats were rejected by the returning officers in 2019 on account of her conviction and sentencing in two criminal cases related to the Solar scam in the state.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy on Wednesday took note of the plea of Nair’s lawyer for adjournment and allowed it.

“In view of the letter circulated by Advocate-on-Record for the petitioner seeking adjournment, put up after two weeks,” the top court said in the order.

Earlier, the Kerala High Court had not allowed Nair’s pleas challenging the polls in both Lok Sabha seats and had said that her nomination papers were rejected as the conviction in the two criminal cases were not suspended. It had said that only the sentences in the cases were suspended by the appellate court.

The high court had said that it was clear from the relief sought in the appeal petition that Nair had only sought suspension of the sentence and not suspension of conviction.

Nair’s nomination papers were rejected under the Secrion 8(3) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 which prescribed for disqualification on account of conviction and sentencing in a criminal case.

Gandhi had won Kerala’s Wayanad seat – the second seat he contested in the 2019 polls – with a record margin of 431,770 votes. Gandhi had defeated his nearest rival P P Suneer of the Communist Party of India who secured 274,597 votes, while Gandhi got 706,367 votes.

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