In a serious blow to senior BJP legislator Pabubha Manek in Gujarat, the High Court has set aside his election from Dwarka Assembly seat and ordered by election for the same. The court acted on an election petition filed by Congress leader Meramanbhai Goria, who challenged Mr. Manek’s election victory from Dwarka in 2017 Assembly polls in the State.
The court has also rejected Mr. Manek’s plea to stay the judgment for four weeks to enable him to challenge the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court.
Justice Paresh Upadhyay of the High Court, however, also rejected the petitioner Mr. Goria’s plea to declare him a winner in the Assembly seat. The court ruled that there would be bypoll to fill the vacancy from Dwarka Assembly segment.
According to the case details, result of the election held in December 2017 was challenged by Mr Goria, on the ground that the proposer of Mr. Manek had not mentioned the name of the constituency on his nomination form, which renders his nomination invalid and void.
The petitioner also submitted that he had raised an objection against the same before the returning officer when the scrutiny of the nomination papers was carried out by the returning officer rejected his objection and approved the defective nomination form of the ruling party candidate.
During the course of trial in the High Court, the court delved into various issues while adjudicating the case.
The main issues that were deliberated upon include whether the petitioner can prove that the proposer did not mention the name of the constituency on Mr Manek’s nomination form; whether election results were affected by improper acceptance of defective form; whether Manek’s victory should be held void; and whether the petitioner should be declared the winner in the election in case the election of Mr Manek was to be set aside and declared void.
After the thorough trial that continued for months, the court had reserved its verdict on the election petition on February 25 and the verdict was finally pronounced on April 12.