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SC refuses to stay HC order disqualifying Gujarat BJP leader Pabubha Manek

The high court had held that it was indeed a 'defect of substantial character' as per the Representation of the People Act and according to some past Supreme Court judgements.

Published: 16th June 2020 02:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2020 02:56 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to grant any relief to senior Gujarat BJP leader Pabubha Manek, who was disqualified as MLA from Dwarka constituency by the high court last year.

Manek moved the top court seeking stay on the Gujarat High Court order so as to contest the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde, M R Shah and A S Bopanna dismissed the application filed by Manek in his pending petition seeking to stay on the high court order of April 12, last year.

Counsel appearing for Manek said that if the order is not stayed, he would not be able to contest the Rajya Sabha election scheduled for this month.

He has sought the stay till the disposal of the pending petition.

The top court had on April 22, last year directed that Dwarka Assembly seat should not be declared vacant and admitted Manek's plea challenging his disqualification as an MLA from there.

It had however refused to stay the April 12 order of the high court which had set aside the election of Manek for submitting a defective nomination form and ordered by-election for the seat.

Manek's victory from the Dwarka Assembly constituency in 2017 was challenged in the high court by his opponent and Congress candidate Meramanbhai Goria.

Goria said Manek's election should be set aside as he had submitted a defective nomination form having no mention about the name and number of the constituency, that is '82-Dwarka'.

Admitting the contention raised by him, the high court had cancelled the election held for the Dwarka seat in December 2017, saying that the defect in the nomination form was a "defect of substantial character as contemplated under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951".

Though Goria had also sought to declare himself as the winner for garnering second highest vote after Manek in the poll, the court had not accepted that prayer and only ordered the cancellation of the election of Manek, who is a seven-time MLA from that constituency.

In his petition, Goria had claimed that there was no mention of the name and number of the constituency in Manek's nomination form, a lapse which calls for cancellation of his election.

As per the petition, Manek's proposer Dharnant Bhulabhai Chavda mentioned his own name in a column meant for mentioning the number of and name of the constituency, that is '82-Dwarka'.

Instead of writing '82-Dwarka' in the specified space, Chavda wrote his full name in the nomination form.

The high court had held that it was indeed a 'defect of substantial character' as per the Representation of the People Act and according to some past Supreme Court judgements.

The court had also noted that the returning officer's action of rejecting the objections filed by Ahir at that time against Manek's nomination was "illegal".

It aid the result of the election has been "materially affected by improper acceptance" of the nomination of Manek at that time.

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