New Delhi: Veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to restrain the Gujarat High Court from proceeding with the petition challenging his election to Rajya Sabha.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said the court will hear on July 9. Patel’s plea to dismiss the petition filed by BJP nominee Balwantsinh Rajput questioning his election in the high court.
The BJP nominee had questioned the Election Commission’s decision to invalidate two votes by rebel Congress MLAs after the Congress party had objected. Rajput also accused Patel of indulging in corrupt practices by allegedly holding 44 MLAs captive at a resort in Bengaluru.
Rajput, had moved the court against the EC's decision to invalidate the votes of two rebel Congress MLAs. Rajput's petition said that once the returning officer had used his discretion to accept the two votes as valid, the EC had "no power to issue any direction to the returning officer for accepting or rejecting any vote". The EC had invalidated the votes of former Congress MLAs Raghavji Patel and Bholabhai Gohel.
Patel had challenged Rajput’s plea and sought its dismissal at the “threshold level” for not serving respondents an attested copy of the petition as required under the law. The High Court while refusing to dismiss his plea issued notice to him and the Election Commission.
The high court said the petitioner had substantially complied with the provisions of law and the defects could be easily cured and ordered Rajput’s election petition to be taken up for trial.
Patel moved the top court against the high court order saying that Rajput’s petition is “devoid of merits” and fails to show any “cause of action”. He sought stay of the summons and to restrain the High Court from proceeding further in the election petition.