The Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Union minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal for not adhering to the deadline fixed by the court for filing a reply in a petition, related to her election from Bathinda parliamentary segment in 2014.
The high court bench of justice Mahesh Grover acted on the report of the high court registry, which stated that, as directed on November 9, 2016, Harsimrat, who was asked to reply in two weeks, filed the same beyond the said period without seeking condonation of delay. “Subject to payment of costs of Rs 25,000, to be deposited in the account of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Employees Welfare Association, the reply is taken on record,” the high court bench said, while imposing the fine and posting the matter for further hearing on February 22. It was on November 9, 2016 that the high court had given “last opportunity” to the SAD leader to submit the reply on the review petition filed on May 28, 2015.
REVIEW PETITION NOT MAINTAINABLE: HARSIMRAT
In her reply, the Union minister had sought the dismissal of the application arguing that the grounds cited by the petitioner for review are not “good and sufficient” and the petition is not maintainable. “The election petitioner can’t be permitted to re-argue the case on merits in the garb of the alleged review application, which is based on incorrect legal and factual aspect of the controversy,” she has stated, arguing that as per provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1951, the review application is not maintainable.
Harsimrat had replied to the review petition, challenging the dismissal of an election petition against her 2014 election. The petition was dismissed by the bench of justice Mahesh Grover on May 8, 2015, terming it “time-barred”. Muktsar resident Navjot Singh, had sought Bathinda MP’s disqualification on the grounds that in her campaign advertisements on television, she had sought votes in the name of religion.