The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the election of BJP lawmaker Rajendra Kumar Meshram by setting aside a Madhya Pradesh High Court order nullifying his nomination on the ground of resorting to unfair means to win the assembly polls in May 2015.
“We cannot sustain the order of the High Court. Accordingly, the same is set aside and the appeal is allowed. The election of the appellant-returned candidate is declared to be valid in law,” a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and P C Pant said. Meshram was elected from Devsar constituency in Singrauli district.
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The bench said as per the evidences led by parties, it does not agree with the findings of the High Court that Vanshmani Prasad Verma, whose nomination from Congress party was rejected, had made out a case for declaration of result of election in favour of Meshram as “void” under the provisions of Representation of People’s Act.
The court said it was not necessary to go into the question of raised by Verma that failure to produce the copy of the electoral roll of the constituency in which a candidate is a voter or a certified copy thereof, by itself would amount to a proof of lack of or absence of qualification under the provisions of Representation of People’s Act.
“All that would be necessary for us to say in this regard is that any such view would not be consistent with the legislative intent expressed by the enactment of two separate and specific provisions of the 1951 Act,” it said.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court has held that the returned candidate had not filed the electoral roll or certified copy thereof of No. 80 Singrauli Constituency and therefore the returning officer had committed an illegality in accepting the nomination of the returned candidate and in not rejecting the same on account of non-compliance of the provisions of the Representation of People Act.
The ruling BJP has 166 MLAs, the Congress has 57, the BSP four and there are three independents in the 230-member MP assembly.