Non-disclosure of necessary details about pending criminal cases amounts to election malpractice, ruled the Bombay high court on Wednesday, while setting aside election of Shiv Sena legislator Dadaji Dagdu Bhuse from Malegaon (Outer) constituency in September 2009.
Dadaji’s rival Arjundada Bhuse, who contested as an independent candidate, had moved the high court in December 2009 challenging Dadaji’s election on various grounds.
A single judge bench of justice Roshan Dalvi upheld the contentions raised on behalf of Arjundada and set aside Dadaji’s election.
Arjundada’s prime contention, according to his counsel Pramod Patil, was that Dadaji had not disclosed the criminal cases faced by him. Though, he had mentioned penal sections applied in all the 21 criminal cases against him, Patil contended it was not enough.“Merely mentioning the sections was not sufficient compliance of the rule 4-A of conduct of election rules,” the counsel said. The rule, which was enforced after the Supreme Court upheld the right of voters to know the background of all candidates, and requires brief description of offences pending against candidates.
Arjundada had also raised issue about the oath that candidates are required to take while submitting their nominations. He contended Dadaji had not taken the oath and therefore not eligible to contest elections.
The court has, however, given Dadaji four weeks to approach the Supreme Court.