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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Court dismisses plea seeking action against Gambhir

cities Updated: Oct 22, 2019 23:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

New Delhi A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed a plea by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena, who had sought action against Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Gautam Gambhir for possessing two voter ID cards and being registered in more than one constituency.

Citing an order of the Supreme Court, additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM), Samar Vishal, said that a person cannot be disqualified from contesting elections merely because he is a voter in two different constituencies, as his criminal prosecution for having registered will be completely unauthorised in law.

“……the violation of section 17 of the People’s Representation Act does not create any penal liability and therefore merely because a person is registered as a voter in more than one constituency, it does not amount to any criminal offence,” the judge said while dismissing the plea.

The court said that when an elector applies for the inclusion of his name in another constituency, the task of deletion of the name of the applicant from the previous constituency is to be done by the electoral registration officer of the previous constituency.

It also said that the complaint is bereft of the false statement or declaration made by Gambhir, so as to bring him within the preview of this prohibition. The judge said that the complainant has filed only one information that his name is registered at two different places without making any further enquiry.

Despite repeated calls and texts, both Marlena and Gambhir did not comment.

The petition by Marlena had alleged that Gambhir has provided false information in his nomination papers, accompanying affidavit and other documents preceding voter screening and registration in order to be seen as qualified to contest elections and potentially secure membership of the parliament.

Marlena said in the plea that the details of Gambhir’s registration in the constituencies were available online, on the Election Commission’s national voters’ service portal.

The plea has sought directions to the Delhi Police to investigate offences under sections 17 and 31 of the Representation of People Act (RPA), 1950, and Section 125A (penalty for filing false affidavit) of RPA, 1951.