Telangana HC Relief to Gangula Kamalakar

Court Dismisses Election Expense Discrepancy, Upholds Kamalakar\'s Victory

HYDERABAD: In a major relief to civil supplies minister Gangula Kamalakar ahead of the Assembly elections, the Telangana High Court on Wednesday dismissed the 2019 election petition filed against him by Congress leader Ponnam Prabhakar.

The petitioner sought the court to declare the election of Kamalakar as a member of the Legislative Assembly from Karimnagar as null and void. Elections were held on December 7, 2018 and he was declared elected on December 11. The petitioner urged the court to set aside the Telangana gazette notification no. 20, insofar as the Karimnagar constituency and disqualify Kamalakar from contesting elections for a period of six years as envisaged under Sections 8A and 10A of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951.

Prabhakar contended that the expenditure incurred by Kamalakar during the elections was '50,36,531.85, whereas the maximum limit of election expenses prescribed under Rule 90 of Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 for a Assembly constituency was '28 lakh.

Prabhakar submitted that Kamalakar’s expenditure accounts were certified by K. Jamuna Rani, assistant registrar, who was an officer in the accounts team.

Denying the allegations levelled against him, Kamalakar, through his senior counsel Prabhakar Sripada, submitted that he has adhered to the provisions under of Section 77 of the Act, by maintaining a separate account of all poll-related expenditure, which was to the tune of '27,46,037.35. Senior counsel Sripada Prabhakar submitted that the expenditure incurred was verified, clarifications were made and reconciled.

As this was the case, the High Court examined the witness statement of Jamuna Rani, who said that the overall expenditure incurred by Kamalakar was '27,46,037.35 paise. Prabhakar’s oral evidence and the contents of Register fail to support the plea of Prabhakar.

Hence, the court opined that no other material is on record to show that Kamalakar had incurred expenditure exceeding the permissible limit, as contended by Prabhakar.

Meanwhile, the election petition filed by BJP leader Bandi Sanjay against Kamalakar is pending before the High Court.

Next Story