“Matter too important, Can’t pass it over”: SC refuses to adjourn further in plea against election of PM Modi

Amitha Muraleedharan

The bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian of the Supreme Court has refused to adjourn the plea challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019.

The bench said, “This case has been going on for a long time. We are giving you time now to argue. It is too important to pass it over. Please argue, adjournments have gone on for long in this case.”

A former soldier of the Border Security Force, Tej Bahadur, also the petitioner, had approached the Court to challenge the rejection of his nomination from Varanasi constituency in 2019 in the Lok Sabha elections on failing to prove that he was not suspended from BSF for either corruption or disloyalty.

As per the petitioner, the dismissal of Bahadur’s nomination gave an upper hand to Narendra Modi in the election and made his electoral victory comparatively easy.

The top court refused to interfere and, therefore, had dismissed the plea.
Later, he moved to the Allahabad High Court.

In 2020, he has now petitioned before the Supreme Court.

The issue that the court was hearing was whether the Returning Officer, who had rejected Bahadur’s nomination, had given him adequate time to file a reply to the show cause notice.

Bahadur stated that he was not given sufficient time to furnish a certificate that could defy the charges of corruption or disloyalty.

He said that the Returning Officer gave him notice on the 30th of April, and his nomination was rejected by the officer the next day.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing PM Modi, told the Court that the petitioner did not seek an extension of time.

He said, “Candidate can ask for two days but he did not ask for time.”

The CJI then questioned the petitioner, “Show us where did you ask for time and how did the High Court deal with it? Where is the evidence that you have asked time and was it shown before the High Court?”

The bench has reserved the verdict.