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Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC dismisses plea challenging PM Modi's election from Varanasi constituency

  • The plea had been filed by former BSF constable Tej Bahadur whose nomination from Varanasi was rejected by the election commission

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal filed by former Border Security Force (BSF) constable Tej Bahadur, challenging election of PM Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency in 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde held that the petition was earlier rightly dismissed by the Allahabad High Court.

The Top court in its judgment observed that Bahadur has no locus standi to file the present case. “We find that the averments in the petition do not disclose that the appellant has a cause of action which invest him with the right to sue. It is settled that where a person has no interest at all, or no sufficient interest to support a legal claim or action he will have no locus standi to sue. The entitlement to sue or locus standi is an integral part of the cause of action." the judgment stated.

The bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, had on the last day of hearing refused to adjourn the case. The bench held that it is an important case as the office of the Prime Minister is concerned and should be adjudged at the earliest. Post brief arguments on whether the case is valid and notice should be issued, the case was reserved for judgment on 18 November.

Bahadur's advocate argued that he was not given sufficient time by the Election Commission to clarify his grounds of dismissal as is mandatory as per the EC rules.

Bahadur also claimed that his nomination was rejected as Prime Minister Modi was also contesting from Varanasi. His rejection was to facilitate an easy victory for the prime minister, the plea said.

As per the appellant, the election was vitiated on account of misuse of official power by the Returning Officer and the Election Observer

The three-judge bench observed in the judgment that for an election petition to be maintainable it has to be filed by an elector or candidate as per Section 83 Representation of the People Act, 1951. Hence, the court observed, “We are, therefore, of the view that the present Election Petition has been rightly nipped in the bud. The Civil Appeal is, therefore, dismissed."

On 1st May 2019, the Election Commission had rejected Bahadur’s nomination from Samajwadi Party (SP) on the grounds of his failure to submit the certificate that he was not sacked from BSF due to corruption or disloyalty.

Bahadur, on the contrary, claimed that he had filed his dismissal letter along with his nomination papers and it was returning officer's failure, who didn't took a note of the letter. The letter impliedly showed that he was dismissed for alleged indiscipline and not corruption or disloyalty, Bahadur added.

In December 2019, Allahabad High court dismissed his plea and he then moved to Supreme Court in February with this appeal.

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