NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Friday rejected an application filed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari seeking dismissal of an election petition filed against him for submitting false information in his poll affidavit in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
A single bench of Justice A S Chandurkar refused to dismiss the election petition filed by Nagpur resident Mohammed Nafis Khan noting that it discloses material facts and gives necessary cause of action to challenge the election of Gadkari.
The court, however, struck down a slew of submissions and allegations made in the election petition pertaining to income earned by Gadkari's family members and land owned by them as well as other points regarding expenditure made during the election process.
Justice Chandurkar, in the order, noted that two points of the election petition, one pertaining to a land owned solely by Gadkari in Nagpur and the second related to Gadkari declaring his source of income as that from agriculture, were not liable to be struck down and hence the election petition should be heard and decided.
As per Khan's election petition, Gadkari was the sole owner of the land and hence his claim in the poll affidavit that the land is owned by his family as a whole was false.
Khan, in his petition, also claimed Gadkari had stated he does not own any agricultural land and, hence, it is false to say his source of income is from agriculture.
Gadkari had filed an application seeking dismissal of Khan's petition, which sought the former's election to the Lok Sabha from Nagpur be declared null and void.
Gadkari's application also sought the striking out of several submissions in the petition which were "unnecessary, vexatious, scandalous and frivolous".
Gadkari's advocates Sunil Manohar and D V Chauhan argued an election petition should only indicate violation of provisions of Representation of the People Act and not allegations against family members of the candidate.
"Only on the basis of surmises and conjectures it was alleged by the petitioner (Khan) that the affidavit filed by the returned candidate (Gadkari) was false," they argued.