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11, who want to contest against Kejriwal, move HC

By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 27, 2020 11:57 PM IST

Eleven people have filed a plea in the Delhi High Court seeking it to direct the Election Commission to allow them to contest the upcoming Delhi assembly elections against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi seat, claiming that their nomination papers were rejected “arbitrarily” and “undue favours” were given to Kejriwal.

The petition, which was urgently mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, was filed through advocate Viplav Sharma, stating that the petitioners’ nominations were not accepted despite the fact that they had reached the EC office within the stipulated time.

The petition alleged that on January 20, a day before the last day of filing nominations for the February 8 Assembly elections, the Returning officer (RO) accepted only 30 nominations and “illegally” refused to accept the nomination papers of the petitioners and asked them to come the next day with the same tokens.

However, the plea contended that when the petitioners reached the next day (January 21), they were told that the token system had been cancelled, and instead names were being noted on blank sheets of paper. It further alleged that Kejriwal was wrongfully extended undue favour in terms of access and expediting his nomination.

Kejriwal filed his nomination on January 21 from the New Delhi seat after waiting six hours at the office of the returning officer, with 65 others also filing their papers from the constituency the same day. The final number of contestants on the seat after scrutiny is 28.

“As per the election rules, it is mandatory for the election officer to receive the nomination papers of the candidate on the same day if he reaches the election office within the specified time. Even if there is no time left for the election office to do the scrutiny, the nomination papers are to be received as such and that it would construe the proper filing of the nomination papers with the state election office,” the plea read.

The plea which will be heard by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said that the petitioners had given representations to the authorities concerned, however, no action was taken. They sought that they be given proper time to file their nominations and contest elections.

Responding to the plea, an official in the state election office said, “Since some people have moved the court and hence the RO will be filing a reply therein.”

The Aam Aadmi Party refused to comment on the issue.

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