RANCHI: Dismissing a petition challenging the Election Commission's order countermanding voting for two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand, the Jharkhand High Court Thursday asked the state government to get the horse-trading charges probed by a special central agency.
A division bench of Jharkhand High Court comprising Chief Justice P.C. Tatia and Justice A. Kumar dismissed the petition of Congress nominee for the Rajya Sabha Pradeep Balmuchu. The court also dismissed a PIL of Jayshankar Pathak, a Congress worker, challenging the poll panel order and slapped a fine of Rs.1 lakh on him.
The court further observed that the state government should get the horse-trading charges probed by a specialized central agency.
Balmuchu Tuesday challenged in Jharkhand High Court the Election Commission of India's (ECI) move to cancel polling for two seats from the state to the upper house following charges of horse-trading.
The ECI had recommended to President Pratibha Patil to cancel the notification for the two Rajya Sabha seats after Rs.2.15 crore in cash was seized on the outskirts of Ranchi on polling day March 30. The money was seized from an Innova car coming to Ranchi from Jamshedpur. It was suspected to be payoffs for getting a favourable vote from some legislators.
Five candidates, including two independents, were in the fray. The five candidates are Sanjiv Kumar of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Pradeep Balmuchu of the Congress, Praveen Kumar Singh of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), and two independents - R.K. Agarwal and Pawan Kumar Dhut.