The Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court on Friday declared election of Neena Verma, the BJP MLA from Dhar Assembly constituency, as void after finding violation of rules.
An order to this effect was passed by Justice Moolchand Garg on the petition filed by Balmukund Singh Gautam of Congress, who had lost the Dhar election in the recount by a single vote in 2008, said his lawyer Abhinav Dhanodkar.
Neena Verma is wife of former union minister Vikram Verma. The judge held that there was a violation of Conduct of Election Rules in the recount. The court found that in the view of violation of provisions contained under section 100 (1) (d) of Representative of Peoples' Act and Rule 63 of conduct of election rules, the election petition filed by the petitioner deserves to be allowed and the election of the returned candidate was declared void.
Gautam had also demanded that he be declared the winner. However, the HC said as another petition filed by the sitting MLA Verma was pending, this issue would be decided later. The court will hear another petition submitted in this context on November 1. Verma has said that she will challenge this ruling in the Supreme Court.
In the election, Gautam had got 50,507 votes against Verma's 50,505. But BJP demanded a recount, in which Verma was declared winner by only one vote. In 2009, an election petition was filed by Balmukukund Gutam challenging Verma's election. In his petition Gautam alleged that the envelopes of ballot papers received through post were loose. Issues which were framed before the court was whether there was improper receipt of invalid postal ballots and whether there was improper rejection of valid ballots.