The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking directions to the Election Commission to cancel the nomination papers of Pratibha Patil for president on grounds that she was in debt to the public exchequer.
A vacation bench of Justices Tarun Chatterjee and PK Balasubramanyan said there was no ground for moving the court under Article 32 of the constitution - invoked when personal rights are violated.
The bench, however, gave the petitioner, advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, freedom to approach other appropriate authorities, including the Election Commission, for redressal of his grievance.
Sharma alleged that Patil, the presidential nominee of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Left and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), was allegedly "an undischarged insolvent", or in debt to the public exchequer.
He said in his petition that Patil owed a debt of Rs.177 million to the public exchequer as founder president and chairperson of the Sant Muktai Cooperative Sugar Factory of Jalgaon in Maharashtra, set up in 1973.
The factory, which essentially happens to be Patil's family business entity, was granted the loan by Mumbai District Co-Operative Bank under Patil's guarantee as the company's president. The factory is still run by her brother, said Sharma.