Chennai: The Madras high court has fined a petitioner Rs 10,000 for asking the court to direct the Election Commission to reject the nomination of the DMK candidate Senthil Balaji, who is contesting in the by-election to Aravakurichi Assembly constituency.
The division bench comprising Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad, before which a PIL was filed by A. P. Geetha, the Women's Wing Secretary of Desiya Makkal Katchi, came up for hearing, has imposed the cost.
According to the petitioner, the 2015 election to the Aravakurichi Assembly was postponed on account of alleged corrupt practices by Senthil Balaji, who was contesting on an AIADMK ticket. The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker, P. Dhanapal, disqualified him along with 17 other MLAs on 18th September 2017 under the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly(Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1986. Based on the aforestated facts, the petitioner argued that Senthil Balaji should not be allowed to contest in the forthcoming elections.
However, senior counsel P. Wilson, who appeared on behalf of Senthil Balaji, submitted that the petition was lacking bona fide and that the same petitioner had filed a similar petition in 2016, which was dismissed by the bench headed by the then Chief Justice and for which, the petitioner was fined.
Further, the same petitioner had also filed an election petition challenging the election of Senthil Balaji, prior to his disqualification by the speaker. P. Wilson argued that the disqualification of a candidate under Schedule X does not attract disqualification from contesting in subsequent elections. Niranjan Rajagopalan, counsel for the Election Commission of India, said that the petition was not maintainable as an election petition can only be filed after elections.
Later, the bench imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on the petitioner, and after a request made by the counsel for the petitioner, the fine was reduced to Rs 10,000 and the case was dismissed....