SC notice to EC on PIL seeking Nitish’s disqualification; he says all done by the book
In his PIL, Delhi lawyer ML Sharma has sought Kumar’s disqualification as an MLC for allegedly hiding his “criminal records” while filing election affidavits since 2004 since 2004, except for 2012.Updated: Sep 11, 2017 19:29 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Election Commission of India, in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking disqualification of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar from the membership of the Bihar legislative council.
In his PIL, Delhi lawyer ML Sharma has sought Kumar’s disqualification as an MLC for allegedly hiding his “criminal records” while filing election affidavits since 2004, except for 2012.
In the petition, it has been alleged a criminal case was pending against the JD (U) leader wherein he was accused of killing a Congress leader, Sitaram Singh, and injuring four others in the Pandarak police station area, ahead of the 1991 Lok Sabha by-election to Bihar’s Barh constituency.
The petitioner has argued that in light of this, the EC must cancel Kumar’s membership as per its 2002 order which said it was mandatory for candidates to disclose criminal cases against them while filing the nomination papers for an election.
The apex court directed the EC to file a reply within four weeks.
Responding to media queries on the development, after his weekly ‘Lok Samvad’ public feedback programme, Kumar said that Supreme Court did the right thing in seeking clarification from the Election Commission on his election affidavit, saying, “people may speak out whatever they wish, but I go by the rules.”
Stating that those who did not stick to rules ultimately end up paying a price for it, Kumar said, “if somebody had the patience to go through the affidavit, things would have been clear.”
He said EC was the competent body to explain the rules and clear position on the issue at hand.
The chief minister said it is public knowledge that he was exonerated in the police investigation. “Issues like the period when cognizance was taken on a complaint case and the subsequent High Court stay has to be taken into account,” he said, adding, “when cognizance was set aside, what was there to be declared?”
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife, former chief minister Rabri Devi and their son, former deputy CM Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, have been targeting Kumar on the issue, seeking his resignation on the ground of being a named accused in an FIR, in the same manner in which the JD (U) pitched in for the stepping down of Tejashwi once his name figured in a benami property case filed by the CBI.
First Published: Sep 11, 2017 19:29 IST