The Bombay High Court has refused to dismiss an election petition filed by one Vinod Ghosalkar, who was Shiv Sena’s candidate for Dahisar Assembly constituency in 2014 elections.
In his petition, Ghosalkar alleged election malpractice against BJP’s Manisha Chaudhary, who secured more than 77,000 votes and won.
According to the petition, Manisha Chaudhary did not declare complete and correct information with respect to criminal cases pending against her and “she suppressed detail information and/or description of criminal cases pending against her from the mandatory affidavit filed along with the nomination papers”.
The petitioner also contended that the returning officer accepted Chaudhary’s “incomplete affidavit without raising objection and/or instructing her to complete the column, especially part A5(ii)(b)”.
The petition stated that the description of the offence committed by her is not stated by Chaudhary in the mandatory affidavit filed along with the nomination paper, which is contrary to the mandatory provisions of the law and incorrect, therefore the returning officer ought to have rejected the nomination form by Chaudhary.
On September 16 last year, the court framed certain issues in the case, which were –
Issues 1, 2 and 3 framed by the court were agreed upon by both parties as preliminary issues.
Senior Advocate M Vashi, who appeared for Chaudhary in the case, cited various case laws in support of his argument that the said petition was ineligible and liable to be dismissed.
The court noted that Vashi overlooked the fact that in all the cases he cited, all the material evidence was ‘third party evidence’ and, in this case, the election affidavit authored by Manisha Chaudhary herself has been relied upon by the petitioner.
Upon perusal of the election affidavit filed by Chaudhary before the Election Commission and Chaudhary’s own statement in her cross-examination, the court answered all three preliminary issues framed in the negative and refused to dismiss the petition.
Thus, the petition will now be decided on merits.