Petition challenging PM Modi’s election from Varanasi adjourned by two weeks
The petition has been filed by former BSF constable Tej Bahadur, who was sacked from the force for indiscipline.Updated: May 22, 2020 15:44 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing on the petition challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi parliamentary seat held in May last year. The matter will now be taken up after two weeks.
The petition has been filed by sacked Border Security Force (BSF) constable Tej Bahadur who could not contest from Varanasi since his nomination paper was rejected by the returning officer on May 1 last year. Bahadur challenged PM Modi’s election before the Allahabad High Court, but lost. HC dismissed the petition on December 6, 2019 holding that Bahadur had no locus to challenge the election as he was neither a candidate nor an elector.
This was the first hearing on Bahadur’s appeal against the HC verdict in the Supreme Court. He alleged there were several technical flaws in the HC judgment dismissing his case.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy were ready to hear arguments. But Bahadur’s lawyers moved a letter for a four-week adjournment without specifying any reason. The Court refused to grant such time and instead posted the matter after two weeks. PM Modi was represented by senior advocates Harish Salve and Satya Pal Jain.
Bahadur’s nomination was rejected as a clause contained in the Representation of Peoples Act prescribes a five-year ban on contesting against any person in the employment of the state who got dismissed on grounds of corruption or disloyalty to state. Bahadur claimed he was dismissed but on grounds other than corruption or disloyalty. In such cases, the candidate must attach a certificate of the Election Commission testifying this fact. Bahadur did not possess this certificate and hence his nomination got rejected.
Bahadur shot to fame in 2017, when he shot a video exposing the alleged poor quality of food supplied to BSF jawans in their camp. His act was seen as indiscipline and the BSF dismissed him in April 2017. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Samajwadi Party fielded him against PM Modi from Varanasi. Bahadur failed to qualify as a candidate after his nomination stood rejected. He was not even an elector of Varanasi. In his own petition, he admits to be an elector from Bhiwani, Mahendragarh parliamentary constituency in Haryana.