12 Sep 2023 9:17 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court, while dismissing an election petition filed by one Rajendra Kumar, a BJP leader, challenging the election of the then Bijnor BJP MP Kunwar Bhartendra Singh in the 2014 Loksabha polls, observed that in political life, there are no permanent enemies or friends.Noting that not only the term of Lok Sabha 2014-2019 was over but the term of subsequent Lok Sabha 2019-2024...
The Allahabad High Court, while dismissing an election petition filed by one Rajendra Kumar, a BJP leader, challenging the election of the then Bijnor BJP MP Kunwar Bhartendra Singh in the 2014 Loksabha polls, observed that in political life, there are no permanent enemies or friends.
Noting that not only the term of Lok Sabha 2014-2019 was over but the term of subsequent Lok Sabha 2019-2024 is likely to be over within a few months, the bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery also stressed the need to decide the election petition at the earliest so that the same may not be rendered infructuous due to the efflux of time.
The Court made these observations in the election plea filed by Kumar in the year 2014 contending that his nomination as the BJP candidate was wrongly rejected by the then returning officer on the ground that the BJP had subsequently given a ticket to Singh.
"In political life, there are no permanent enemies or friends," Says #AllahabadHighCourt, refers to the following sanskrit quote:"चन्दनं शीतलं लोके ,चन्दनादपि चन्द्रमाः |चन्द्रचन्दनयोर्मध्ये शीतला साधुसंगतिः || #Politics #PoliticalLife #IndianPolitics pic.twitter.com/vUgyqaSk0g— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 12, 2023
The case in brief
Essentially, the petitioner (Rajender Kumar) was set up as a candidate from the 04-Bijnor Parliamentary Constituency (UP) for the Parliamentary Election of the year 2014 and accordingly, he submitted his Nomination Form along with party symbol accompanied by Form A and Form B in accordance with provisions of Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.
However, later on, the respondent (Kunwar Bhartendra Singh/Returned Candidate) was set up as a candidate for the said Parliamentary Constituency and he also submitted all the requisite documents. Against his nomination form, the Petitioner filed objections, however, the same was rejected by the Returning Officer while accepting the Nomination Form of the respondent. Hence, the petitioner filed the instant election petition.
Here it may be noted that in the 2014 polls, Singh won the seat, though in 2019, he lost the polls.
However, during the hearing of the case, the Court interacted with the election petitioner and Returned Candidate and found that there were no personal grudges between them, rather they have supported each other during their political career
However, the Petitioner remained aggrieved with the fact that his Nomination Form submitted being a duly set up candidate by said National Political Party was erroneously rejected by the Returning Officer.
It was also his contention that there was no reason for the BJP to set up the respondent/Returned Candidate as its candidate even though the petitioner was already set up as the candidate and this act had dented the petitioner's public image, not only in his political constituency but also otherwise.
It was also argued that even though the polls are long over, the matter should be decided for academic interest.
At the outset, the Court noted that the Returning Officer had rightly rejected the objection of the petitioner to the nomination of the respondent as the officer in question had taken into account the subsequent Form B submitted by the Returned Candidate and he had given the same more evidentiary value.
The Court also observed that due to the efflux of time, especially when the subsequent election of Lok Sabha was also held, to adjudicate an election petition at this stage would be a futile exercise and it would only be for academic purposes.
However, the Court did note the Election-Petitioner as well as the Court has to be more careful and has to endeavour to decide election petition at the earliest so that it may not render infructuous due to the efflux of time.
Further, noting that the petitioner and the respondent are on cordial terms with each other, the Court observed thus:
"The Court finds that Election-Petitioner is more conscious of his public image which is not an incorrect approach since a socially and politically active person who engaged with people of his area always wants to carry a good public image and good fan following. A political person is normally image conscious since it always carry with him. It appears that the Election-Petitioner is carrying an impression that since his Nomination Form was rejected by Returning Officer, it amounts to be a dent on his public image that he has undertaken something illegal or there was something fishy in his Nomination Form. However, as referred above, from bare perusal of order passed by the Returning Officer, the impression does not appear to be true."
Against this backdrop, finding the impression of the Petitioner to be baseless, which is also supported and evident by subsequent events, the Court decided to dismiss the Petitioner.
However, before parting, the Court referred to the following Sanskrit quote:
"चन्दनं शीतलं लोके ,चन्दनादपि चन्द्रमाः | चन्द्रचन्दनयोर्मध्ये शीतला साधुसंगतिः || [संसार में चन्दन को शीतल माना जाता है लेकिन चन्द्रमा चन्दन से भी शीतल होता है | अच्छे मित्रों का साथ चन्द्र और चन्दन दोनों की तुलना में अधिक शीतलता देने वाला होता है |] [Translation: The sandalwood is considered the coolest in the world, but the moon is cooler than it, and a good friend is cooler than both the moon and the sandalwood]
Case title - Rajender Kumar vs. Kunwar Bhartendra Singh [ELECTION PETITION No. - 6 of 2014]
Case Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (AB) 323
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