The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday rejected an application by Ahmed Patel seeking the deletion of Smriti Irani and Amit Shah as respondents in an election petition filed by BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput challenging Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha in 2017.
Patel won a closely fought contest against Rajput, who was earlier a Congress leader, and switched sides after getting a BJP ticket to contest the RS election.
Patel’s advocates submitted that Irani and Shah were initially impleaded as respondent parties in the main petition in view of section 82 of Representation of People’s Act (RPA) 1951. However, they were elected as Lok Sabha members, leaving the Rajya Sabha seats held by them vacant.
The court of Justice Bela Tri-vedi adjudged that Irani and Shah have to be continued as the party respondents in the election petition “in view of the statutory compliance of the provisions in Section 82 of the RPA”.