On Thursday, a person who wanted to contest for Block Pramukh of Development Block Pratapgarh approached the Allahabad High Court at Lucknow.
He stated that today is the last day of filing nomination. Still, at the behest of a Minister in the State government whose son is also contesting the elections, the local authorities were not allowed to file the nominations.
Sri Rakesh Chaudhary, counsel representing the Election Commission stated that nomination papers are to be filed in the Development Block Headquarters and that the petitioner can procure the nomination form today itself and fill and submit it before the authority concerned before the deadline.
The petitioner’s counsel further submitted that local Police and authorities had detained the petitioner and his family members, and the State government attempted to change the fair and free poll system.
After hearing the submission, the Bench directed the Additional Chief Standing Counsel to seek complete instructions from the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police/Senior Superintendent of Police, Pratapgarh but also from the Additional Chief Secretary, Home and Director General of Police and asked that a responsible IPS officer from the DGP office should be present through VC.
The Bench fixed the case for 01:15 PM.
When the case was taken up at 01:15, the government counsel submitted that the Police had not detained the petitioner, and as per his location records, he is safely near his. The Police further stated that his son was arrested but was challaned and let go after giving a bond.
The petitioner’s counsel vehemently opposed these conditions.
The Bench directed respondents 1,2,3, and four to file their counter-affidavits and opined that the Court could only conclude after the affidavits are filed.
Directions issued by the Court:-
- As the nominations could only be filed till 03:00 PM today, the Court directed the authorities to ensure that the petitioner can file his nomination and provide him all the help.
- The Police will escort the petitioner to the Development Block Headquarters and then back to his residence.
- During the course of the election, Police should ensure that the petitioner can move freely.