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Apex court relief for MP from Khagaria

New Delhi, Feb. 21: The Supreme Court today restored the election of the JD(U) Lok Sabha MP from Khagaria, Dinesh Chandra Yadav.

Acting on a petition filed by rival CPI candidate Satya Narayan Singh, Patna High Court set aside his election on technical grounds on February 6.

A bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.S. Khehar, in an interim order, stayed the impugned judgment by the high court and sought response from Singh within two weeks on the appeal filed by Yadav.

The effect of today’s order would be that Yadav would be able to participate in the ensuing budget session of Parliament, his counsel Amit Anand Tiwari said.

In this case, the high court had set aside Yadav’s election from Khagaria on May 16, 2009, by holding that the returning officer had erroneously rejected the nomination papers of Singh on the ground that the latter had not filed an affidavit along with Form 26, which mandated disclosure of criminal antecedents, if any of the candidate.

Subsequently, Yadav was declared elected in the election held on May 16, 2009.

An aggrieved Singh filed an election petition in the high court, which on February 6, set aside Yadav’s election on the ground that there was no necessity for a candidate to file an affidavit disclosing his/her criminal antecedents.

Appearing for Yadav before the bench, former additional solicitor general Amarender Sharan and counsel Tiwari said the high court on an “erroneous assumption” had set aside the election by taking a view that Form 26, which requires disclosing the criminal antecedent, assets, liabilities and education qualification by way of an affidavit, is not mandatory to be part of nomination paper.

Sharan cited the apex court’s earlier rulings in the PUCL case (2003) and the Association for Democratic Reforms case as well as legislative provisions contained in the Section 33A of the R.P. Act, 1951, that Form 26 is an essential and integral part of nomination paper.