New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson and executive member Raghav Chadha has challenged the results of the South Delhi parliamentary constituency in court, alleging that the eventual winner, BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri, concealed his ‘criminal antecedents’.
In his election petition filed in the Delhi High Court, Chadha has alleged that Bidhuri hid the fact that “an FIR had been lodged against him at the Kazi Mohammadpur police station in Bihar”, for allegedly making a derogatory speech against people from the state and the Purvanchal region (in eastern UP).
The petition also alleges that Bidhuri falsely declared his income and those of his spouse as well as of his dependant (declaring both as ‘NIL’ in 2013-14).
Chadha’s petition, which was accessed by ThePrint, has urged the court to now declare Bidhuri’s election void and hand the election to the candidate with the second most votes — in this case, Chadha himself. The matter is likely to be taken up Friday, Chadha’s counsel said.
The 57-year-old Bidhuri got 6,87,014 of the total 12,14,222 votes polled in the seat, while Chadha could only manage 3,19,971 votes.
Court ordered FIR against Bidhuri: Petition
The petition claims that based on a complaint, the additional chief judicial magistrate in Muzaffarpur, Deepak Kumar, had directed the Kazi Mohammadpur Police Station to register an FIR against Bidhuri in an order dated 22 November 2018.
The FIR was to be lodged under sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), 153 (provocation with intent to cause riots) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as Bidhuri had allegedly made disparaging comments against citizens of Delhi who belong to Bihar and Purvanchal.
Bidhuri failed to disclose material particulars regarding his criminal antecedents, Chadha mentions in the petition, adding how it has thereby affected the free exercise of electoral rights of the citizens of NCT Delhi. This, the petition adds, is contrary to the mandate of the Representation of the People Act 1951, and various judgments of the Supreme Court.
Chadha has also claimed in the petition that on the day of the scrutiny of nominations on 24 April, he had objected to Bidhuri’s “deliberate and willful concealment of information” following which the matter “was adjourned to 5.30 pm that day”.
The petition adds that while the BJP member did not deny the existence of the criminal proceedings pending against him, the returning officer “without the exercise of judicial mind arbitrarily rejected the objections of the petitioner.”
Chadha has pleaded that the results be declared void and that he be declared the winning candidate for the South Delhi constituency as he secured the next highest tally of votes.