The Delhi High Court on Tuesday permitted controversial RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav to cast his vote in the presidential election on July 19, on a day when the Supreme Court decided to hear a petition seeking to bar jailed MPs from casting their ballot.
The court, however, made it clear that Pappu Yadav can be taken to Parliament House polling station only for two hours anytime between 10 am and 5 pm on the polling day.
"It is directed that the petitioner (Rajesh Ranjan) is permitted to cast his vote at Parliament House on July 19 under the custody and security arrangements made by Superintendant of Jail no 3 of Tihar jail in consultation with DCP 3rd battalion and Returning officer," Justice BD Ahmed said while disposing of the petition.
Rakesh Kumar Singh, counsel for Pappu Yadav, contended that his client cannot cast his vote in the presidential elections despite being in the electoral college as per the circular issued by the Commission which says that the person who is in jail cannot vote as there was neither the provision of postal ballot nor the polling station being made in the jail.
Singh further contended that if he is not allowed to go to Parliament House for exercising his franchise then the ballot be sent to Jail No. 3 of Tihar, the proposal which was outrightly rejected by the Election Commission's counsel saying that there was no such proposal for postal ballot.
However, the judge was surprised to know that there was no provision of postal ballot and observed "it is very strange. Postal ballot must be permitted. It is permitted in general elections. If that is done everything becomes easy.