March 22, 2021 4:41:03 pm
In a major setback for the BJP in Kerala, the High Court Monday dismissed the petitions of three NDA candidates challenging rejection of their nominations for the assembly elections on the ground of defective submissions.
The nominations of NDA candidates in Thalassery, Guruvayur and Devikulam were rejected by respective returning officers on the ground of faulty submissions. Of them, two are BJP candidates.
The Kerala High Court’s decision came after the Election Commission submitted an affidavit that the decision of the returning officer was final and the court cannot intervene once the notification for the election process is issued.
A single bench of Justice N Nagersh dismissed the writ petitions filed by BJP candidates N Haridas (Thalassery constituency) Nivedida Subramaniam (Guruvayur), and AIADMK candidate Dhanalakshmi (Devikulam).
On Saturday, during the final scrutiny of the nominations, relevant forms submitted along with their nominations were found without the mandatory signature of the party president.
The candidates had moved the high court on Sunday, a day after the rejection of their nominations.The Election Commision, in its affidavit, said there cannot be judicial intervention in matters related to election after the notification of elections, as per the Article 329 B of the Constitution. The signature of the party president was a mandatory requirement under the Rules and its absence is a substantive defect. Such disputes can only be resolved as per the statutory remedies after the culmination of election.
In Devikulam constituency, the BJP could save face by supporting a Congress rebel as its NDA candidate. In Thalassery and Guruvaur constituencies, however, the party has left without candidates in the fray.
All these three constituencies are sitting seats of CPI(M) and rejection of nominations will give another chance for the CPI (M) and Congress to mutually raise the allegation of an understanding with BJP.
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