Kerala HC Dismisses Petition Challenging Rejection of Election Candidates’ Rejection

Mar22,2021 #Kerala High Court #NDA
Kerala high court law insider)

Aryan Grover

Petitions filed by three candidates of the NDA alliance challenging the rejection of their nomination papers have been dismissed by the Kerala High Court. The nomination papers filed by candidates N Haridas and Nivedida Subramanian of BJP, and Dhanalakshmi Marimuthu of BJP ally AIADMK, had been rejected by the returning officers, citing lapses.

The applications were rejected since the State Election Commission contended that the court should not be interfering with the election process as it hinders the objective of the conduct of free and fair elections.

The lapse in Haridas’ nomination paper was in regard to Form-A submitted, which lacked the signature of BJP national president and only had the seal. This form is important for the party national chief to authorise the party’s state leader to allocate an election symbol to the candidate.

Nivedida’s nomination papers were rejected for the reason that the party’s state chief’s letter, which is a part of Form-B, endorsing her as the official candidate was filed late. Marimuthu’s nomination was rejected because of a defect in Form-26, an affidavit that is supposed to be submitted by the candidate.

The contention raised by Haridas and Nivedida in their challenge to the rejection was that the returning officer had acted without jurisdiction and ignored Rule 4 of Conduct of Election Rules, which states that defects in Form A or B are not fatal to the nomination. This action of the returning officer was alleged to be unauthorised and arbitrary. It is also contended that candidates in other constituencies having defects in form A and B were allowed to proceed with their nomination, hence resulting in selective application of law.

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