HC judgment in four petitions against victory of 24 winning candidates of 2017 elections, Pipa News

HC judgment in four petitions against victory of 24 winning candidates of 2017 elections,

  • The High Court annulled the victory of Bhupendra Singh Chudasma
  • The victory of two senior BJP leaders was annulled by the High Court
  • The 2017 election results saw the highest number of petitions

In the Gujarat assembly elections held in 2017, the BJP won many seats with a narrow margin of votes. Congress won 77 seats in this election. A petition challenging the victory of 24 candidates (of both BJP and Congress) who won in this election was filed in the High Court. Along with this, the battle of polling stations came to court. In the year 2012, only seven applications have been decided after the results of the Gujarat Assembly.

Coming to the last election, the Gujarat High Court has given its verdict on four petitions, nullifying the victory of two BJP candidates and disqualifying them as MLAs. In May-2020, the High Court annulled the victory of Bhupendra Singh Chudasma, MLA of Dholka Assembly seat and former Education Minister. While in April-2019, the High Court invalidated the victory of MLA Pabubha Manek from Dwarka seat. Both these judgments of the High Court were challenged in the Supreme Court, in which Bhupendrasinh Chudasama got relief and he was able to complete his tenure as MLA. However, in Pabubha Manek’s case, the Supreme Court did not grant him any relief and rejected the plea for a stay against the High Court’s judgment. So he was disqualified as MLA. Although the Election Commission has not held a by-election to the Dwarka assembly seat, the seat remained unrepresented for three years. BJP has again given ticket to Pabubha Manek from this seat in the assembly elections to be held this year. Pabubha Manek has won seven consecutive terms from this seat. He won as an independent candidate in 1990, 1995, 1998, in 2002 on a Congress ticket and then in 2007, 2012 and 2017 as a BJP candidate. On the other hand, there are some candidates who have lost the 2017 assembly elections and then the legal battle. In which, Congress candidate Arjun Modhwadia, who lost the Porbandar assembly seat, filed an application questioning the victory of BJP’s winning candidate Babu Bokhiria, which was rejected by the High Court. The winning candidate of Congress from Gandhinagar North assembly seat C.J. Chavda was successful in the legal battle. The candidature of his rival candidate was rejected by the Returning Officer. 2017 in Jamalpur-Khadia, Patan, Gandhinagar North, Himmatnagar, Varachha Road, Limbayat, Gariyadhar, Godhra, Prantij, Santrampur, Mandvi, Wagra, Matar, Dabhoi, Dwarka, Kamrej and Danilimda seats, whose nomination papers were canceled by the election officials or Questions have been raised about the decision to accept it. In these seats, the petitioner demanded that the result be annulled, as he could not contest the election due to defects in the nomination form.

In three petitions, the petitioner withdrew the petition from the HC, in which Congress candidate Dheeraj Kalathia, who lost by a narrow margin from Botad seat, petitioned against the victory of BJP’s winning candidate Saurabh Dalal and demanded that the recount should be conducted as the result was a narrow margin. Later the applicant withdrew the application. While judgment is awaited in 7 petitions. In 2012, the High Court disposed of the petition against Shailesh Parmar, the winning candidate of the Congress from the Danilimda assembly seat, in the year 2021 and the High Court said that now this petition has no meaning.

One mistake has big consequences

During the 2017 elections, the result of BJP candidate Pabubha Manek’s victory was annulled by the High Court due to a minor mistake made by his proposer while filling the form for the Dwarka assembly seat. The proposer did not mention the name or name and constituency number and candidate in the first line of the nomination form. In which, the name of the proposer was written instead of the name of Pabubha Manek. The High Court considered this mistake as a defect and declared the nomination form of Pabubha Manek as illegal.

High Court annulled the victory of Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, Supreme gave a stay

On May 12, 2020, the HC declared the victory of BJP candidate Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, who won from the Dholka assembly seat, nullified. The HC observed that Dhaval Jani, the Returning Officer of Chudasma and Dholka constituencies, committed irregularities in the counting of votes together. Dhaval Jani avoided counting 429 postal ballots. Election officials have systematically tampered with the election records to hide the matter. It is clearly visible in the CCTV footage that Chudasma’s personal secretary Dharmin Mehta was seen in the counting hall. Congolese candidate Ashwin Rathore petitioned the HC on this issue. Chudasma defeated Ashwin Rathore by just 327 votes. Importantly, the Supreme Court stayed the High Court verdict.

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