Blow to Narottam Mishra, Delhi High Court upholds disqualification

Order means the Madhya Pradesh minister cannot vote during Presidential election on July 17
New Delhi: In a blow to disqualified Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra, his last ditch effort to vote in the Presidential election on July 17 was scuttled by the Delhi High Court on Friday which upheld his disqualification.
A specially constituted single judge bench of Justice Indermeet Kaur dismissed Mishra’s plea challenging his disqualification by the Election Commission and that he should be allowed to vote in the Presidential poll.
“The petition is without any merit. Dismissed,” it said.
The court said that as per the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, disqualification of a candidate has to be from the date of the order.
“What effect it may or may not have on a subsequent election is not what has to be taken into account,” it added.
The observation was made in regard to the argument on behalf of Mishra that the June 23 order of the Election Commission of India (ECI) disqualifying him pertained to earlier election of 2008 and his subsequent tenure from 2013 would be unaffected.
The court also disagreed with the BJP leader’s claim that merely because he was aware of the paid news articles and did not disallow or deny the same, the poll panel could not have held that there was “implied authorisation” by him.
“The Election Commission holding that there was an implied authorisation by the petitioner (Mishra) to publish these news items was thus a fair finding,” the judge said in her 36 page verdict.
The court further said that a candidate has to rebut the allegation that neither he nor his agent had incurred any such expenditure on paid news.

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