ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court today fixed December 5 as the date for pronouncing the judgement on a petition challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. Justice Vikram Nath passed the order after arguments from petitioner Ajay Rai as well as the respondent concluded.
The court also granted time to both parties till December 1 for filing any further written submissions. Rai, who is a sitting Congress MLA from Pindra assembly segment of Uttar Pradesh, was the party's candidate from Varanasi in the 2014 general elections. He has challenged the election of Modi on a number of grounds including alleged discrepancies in his nomination papers, expenditure on election campaign and use of religious sentiments for garnering votes.
The contentions made by Rai have been strongly repudiated by Modi's team of counsels led by Satya Pal Jain, a BJP leader and Additional Solicitor General of India. Jain had argued that the petition was "not maintainable" and prayed for dismissing the same "in limine". The team of lawyers arguing on behalf of Rai was led by senior high court advocate Umesh Narain Sharma, who is a former head of the legal cell of the Congress party's state unit.