New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed former parliamentarian Navjot Singh Sidhu to face trial in a case challenging his election to the Lok Sabha in 2009 from Amritsar.
“The trial of the election petition on the issues/allegations will have to recommence," the court said.
In doing so, a bench comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and Abhay Manohar Sapre upheld the 2011 order of the Punjab and Haryana high court dismissing Sidhu’s plea against the petition.
Singh’s rival candidate, whose name remains undisclosed in the court order had contested his election win for allegedly exceeding the Rs25 lakh expenditure limit set by the Election Commission.
The petitioner had alleged that Sidhu, a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate at that time, had allegedly disclosed incorrect value for advertisements he placed in at least six newspapers in Punjab during the election campaign.
Sidhu is also alleged to have taken help of a government officer in Punjab to further his election prospects
Senior advocate Vikash Singh, appearing for Sidhu, argued that the petition must be dismissed as the alleged newspaper advertisements which are necessary materials to justify a full-fledged trial were not enclosed.
“Full statement on the alleged corrupt election practice has not been set forth," Singh had told the court.
Also Read: Navjot Singh Sidhu decides against floating political party
After quitting BJP, Sidhu formed the Awaaz-e-Punjab, a forum for the ‘resurrection and redemption of Punjab’. He maintains Awaaz-e-Punjab is not a political party but a forum for like-minded Punjabis, leaving speculations about his political future ripe.