Delhi HC grants time to AAP candidate to respond to plea challenging his nomination

The Delhi High Court Friday granted time to an AAP candidate to respond to a plea seeking rejection of his nomination for allegedly concealing material facts in his affidavit for the February 8 Assembly polls.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar noted that AAP’s Karol Bagh candidate Vishesh Ravi will file response on several factual aspects stated in the petition, including criminal background, pending cases and educational qualification.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Yoginder Chandolia who is a BJP contestant from the same seat.

On being asked by the bench as to why the AAP candidate has not mentioned in his affidavit about the FIR lodged against him, his counsel said he was already discharged by the court.

Advocates Anupam Srivastava and Rishikesh Kumar, appearing for Ravi, said the criminal matter was over and an appeal was filed against the discharge order by the other party before the high court which has not stayed the trial court’s order.

The bench listed the matter for further hearing on March 2.

Chandolia has challenged a single judge’s order dismissing as not maintainable his plea challenging a returning officer’s order rejecting his complaint against Ravi’s nomination.

The single judge had said there cannot be a two-pronged attack to an election and the law was clear that such challenges can only be made after the declaration of poll results.

The plea alleged that the AAP candidate had willfully and intentionally concealed material facts and given false statement in poll affidavits.

It claimed that he has concealed the factum of a pending criminal case against him and there were discrepancies in his affidavits.

“However, despite the facts that there was substantial defect in the affidavit filed by respondent no. 4 (Ravi), the said objection filed by petitioner (Chandolia) is dismissed by the respondent no. 3 (returning officer) vide order dated January 22, 2020 inter alias holding that these defects are not substantial.

“It is settle law that suppression of pending criminal case and education qualification are substantial defect and in such cases, nomination forms are liable to be rejected. Hence impugned order is not sustainable,” the plea said.

Polling on the 70 Assembly seats in Delhi will be held on February 8 and the counting of votes will take place on February 11. PTI SKV SA

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