NEW DELHI: On the eve of the presidential elections, the Delhi High Court, in a special hearing on Sunday, refused to allow BJP MP Narottam Mishra to vote.
Mishra was disqualified for three years over paid news charges by the Election Commission. He is presently a minister for Water Resources and public relations in the Shivraj Singh Chauhan government in Madhya Pradesh.
During the special hearing, a bench of justices S Muralidhar and Pratibha M Singh heard Mishra’s plea but refused to grant any relief and posted the case for further hearing in August.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Mishra and told the bench, “The alleged act of corruption was committed in 2008 and then I (Mishra) was re-elected. There has been great delay in part of the poll panel in hearing my case. Why should I suffer because of this.”
The Election Commission had taken a decision under the Representation of Peoples Act on June 23, and the order will apply for three years from its date of issue.
On Friday, a single judge bench of the High Court had dismissed Mishra’s plea and it was against this order that the BJP minister filed an appeal before the division bench.
With Sunday’s order, it has become certain that the BJP leader will not be able to cast his vote in the presidential elections scheduled for Monday. The Supreme Court had last Wednesday directed Mishra to move the Delhi High Court after he failed to get interim relief from the Madhya Pradesh High Court.