The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission (EC) to look into concerns raised by former BSF man Tej Bahadur Yadav, whose nomination from the Varanasi Lok Sabha Constituency was rejected by the poll panel.
A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta said it will hear the matter again on Thursday.
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The Samajwadi Party had fielded Yadav, who was dismissed from the BSF in 2017 after he posted a video online about the food served to the troops, as its candidate from the Varanasi seat where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting for the BJP.
In his petition, Yadav said “it seems the impugned decision has been taken keeping in mind the sensitivity of the contest in Varanasi Constituency and to give a walkover to the candidate of the ruling party by disqualifying the petitioner whose candidature was gaining momentum and was therefore also supported by the main opposition alliance of two major political parties in the state.”
He submitted that his nomination was rejected by the Returning Officer on May 1 “on the ground that the petitioner was dismissed from the government service on 19.04.2017 & five years period from the date of such dismissal has not elapsed, in terms of section 9 of the Representation of the People Act of 1951.
Yadav contended that he “has been constrained to approach” the court “in view of the abject failure of the Election Commission in exercising its constitutional power to ensure free and fair election and also total arbitrariness and malfeasance of the Returning Officer in disqualifying” him.
“Rejection of the nomination under Section 36 of the Act of 1951 is not only erroneous, arbitrary and malafide but also shows failure of the Respondents in not invoking the constitutional powers under Article 324 of the Constitution of India…for ensuring free and fair election …”, the petition, filed through Advocate Prashant Bhushan, said.
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