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Apex court stays hearing on plea against Azhagiri's election

Delhi,Immigration/Law/Rights,Politics, Fri, 30 Mar 2012 IANS

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday stayed proceedings in the Madras High Court on an election petition challenging the election of union Chemical and Fertiliser Minister and DMK leader M.K. Azhagiri from Madurai Lok Sabha constituency.


A bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice H.L. Gokhale also issued notice to A. Lazar and others who had moved the petition challenging Azhagiri's election in the 2009 general elections.


Azhagiri has challenged the high court order of Dec 2, 2012, by which he had sought the striking off 10 paragraphs from Lazar's petition as they were "bereft of material facts and particulars" and were "vague and vexatious" and the allegations of corrupt practices were not supported by a proper affidavit.


The election petition was filed June 29, 2009 by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidate P. Mohan who had lost to Azhagiri. However, he died Oct 30, 2009.


Lazar who was Mohan's covering candidate and had withdrawn his candidature after scrutiny of the nomination papers stepped in as substitute petitioner in the case after Mohan's death.


Azhagiri challenged Lazar's application for substitution but the high court by its Sep 6, 2010, order upheld the substitution, and this decision was further upheld by the apex court.


Azhagiri, in his petition, has said that Mohan in his June 29, 2009 petition, had given a concise statement of material facts including full particulars of corrupt practices alleged and the same were verified as enjoined in sub-section 1(c) of Section 83 of the Representation of People Act.


The section says that the petitioner challenging the elections of the successful candidate would furnish full particulars of any corrupt practice that has been alleged in the petition and the same would be attested by an affidavit in the prescribed form in support of the allegation of such corrupt practice and the particulars thereof.


Mohan, in his election petition, had verified that the material facts including the particulars of corrupt practices alleged were based on the knowledge, information and particulars given by his chief election agent, and various other named office bearers CPI-M workers.


Azhagiri, in his petition, said that Lazar, who has stepped into the shoes of Mohan by becoming a substitute petitioner, was however just an elector in Madurai constituency and thus could not proceed with the same grounds as he had no personal information on the said allegations.


Seeking the dismissal of the election petition before the high court, Azhagiri argued: "When election petition is not properly and validly presented in accordance with Section 83(1)( c )of the R.P.Act with proper verification and supporting affidavit, the same becomes 'defective in material respect' and for non-compliance of this material requirement, the election petition should have been dismissed."


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