In a relief to Shrimoni Akali Dal (SAD) candidate Sukhdev Singh Patwari and an embarrassment to the returning officer (RO) assistant chief administrator greater Mohali area development authority (GMADA) Navjot Kaur, the Punjab and Haryana High court, on Friday allowed the SAD candidate to contest whose candidature had been rejected by the said RO.
Sukhdev Singh Patwari from ward no. 47 had approached the High Court challenging rejection of his nomination papers on February 12. Though on high court’s direction the Punjab State Election Commission produced the original relevant record before the court on Thursday, the court had directed the state government counsel to submit a proper reply on Friday, following which not satisfied with the answer, allowed Patwari to contest.
“Satisfies with the decision Patwari maintained that he was right and though even the campaigning is over, he is satisfied that he will emerge victorious. “I have huge support and even though I did not campaign much I am sure of winning. I am chosen by the people and I am sure I will get their support”.
The court was informed that Patwari had filed the nomination papers on February 11 along with Amrik Singh Gill as the covering candidate, but the returning officer rejected the nomination papers of both. It was submitted that the petitioner was orally told by the returning officer that his nomination papers had been rejected because of not mentioning the voter list number of the newly published Municipal Corporation voter list.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate Satya Pal Jain submitted that Section 38 (4) of the Punjab State Election Commission Act, 1994, casts a duty upon the returning officer to satisfy himself at the time of presentation of nomination papers that the electoral roll numbers of the candidate and proposer mentioned in the nomination papers are same as those entered in the electoral rolls.
Therefore, it was incumbent upon the returning officer to check the same at the time of presentation of nomination papers itself, and in case of any mistakes, bring it to the notice of the petitioner and grant him an opportunity to correct it. The nomination papers could not have been rejected on this ground.
Following this the High Court allowed the petition and has allowed Sukhdev Patwari to contest the said MC elections scheduled to be held on February 22.