Bhupendrasinh Chudasama | Twitter
Bhupendrasinh Chudasama | Twitter
Text Size:

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday stayed the Gujarat High Court judgment scrapping the election of state law and education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama. 

On a petition filed by the BJP leader, a bench comprising Justices Mohan M. Shantanagoudar and R. Subhash Reddy also issued notice to the respondents, including Congress leader Ashwin Rathod, who challenged Chudasama’s election in the high court. 

Chudasama had won over Rathod from Gujarat’s Dholka assembly constituency in 2017. The assembly election that year brought the BJP back to office in Gujarat, with the party winning 99 of the state’s 182 assembly seats. The Congress stood second with 77 seats.

In Dholka, Chudasama had defeated Rathod by a narrow margin of 327 votes. In his high court petition, Rathod had claimed, among other things, that returning officer Dhaval Jani illegally excluded 429 postal ballots from consideration. He had pointed out that this number was higher than the victory margin of 327 votes. 

The high court had accepted these contentions and noted violations of Election Commission (EC) procedure in the counting of postal ballots. It had said the camera recording of the counting submitted was “mischievously incomplete”, and also took grim note of footage that showed Chudasama’s additional private secretary making multiple visits to the hall where postal ballots were counted.

The bench had concluded that there was an “unholy nexus” between Chudasama and Jani.


Also Read: Gujarat to Delhi, BJP’s ally is Election Commission. And Congress must be blamed for this

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW


‘Illegalities & manipulations’

Challenging this judgment, Chudasama’s lawyer Neeraj Kishan Kaul told the Supreme Court Friday that instead of setting aside the election, the high court judge should have examined if the 429 votes were rightly rejected. 

He also questioned the link between Chudasama and Jani, and pointed out that the verdict will lead to the unseating of the state’s education and law minister as the country struggles with Covid-19. 

Appearing for Rathod, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal asserted that there were “illegalities and manipulations” in the counting process. He pointed out several discrepancies in the process to claim that there was a “collusion” and that it is “deeply malafide”. 


Also Read: This is not an easy time to be the Election Commission of India. Here’s why


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here