The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday issued a notice of motion to Punjab Congress Legislative Party leader Sunil Jakhar on a petition challenging his election from the Abohar constituency on the grounds that ballot papers were not correctly printed.
The petition filed by Shiv Lal Doda, an Independent candidate who had contested the January 30 Punjab assembly elections from Abohar against Jakhar, came up for hearing before the bench headed by justice Rameshwar Malik. The bench directed Jakhar to submit his reply by September 20.
The petitioner submitted that due to the "wrong" publication of the ballot paper, his voters and supporters especially the illiterate cast their vote in favour of the person at serial No. 1 (Jakhar) as they failed to find his (Doda's) name at the end of the ballot paper.
The court was informed that the petitioner was made to understand that as per rules, the ballot paper would be published as per the letters of the names of the contesting candidates and hence his name should have been at the last place, but instead it was inserted at serial No. 3 among independent candidates.
It was submitted that the petitioner, keeping in mind this aspect, conveyed to his supporters and voters that his name would figure at the end of the ballot paper, especially when there were two other candidates with their names starting with the same letter (S), namely Sunil Jakhar and Shiv Charan Doda. The petitioner had lost the election by a margin of about 9,000 votes.