The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued summons to BJP MLA Jitu Vaghani on a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raju Solanki seeking that his election be set aside on grounds of engaging in “corrupt and illegal” practices.
Justice Rajendra Sareen issued the summons to Vaghani and it is returnable on April 21.
Solanki filed the plea after he lost to Vaghani from the Bhavnagar West Assembly constituency in state elections held in December last year.
The court issued summons to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator over pamphlets distributed ahead of the state elections making an alleged false declaration claiming that AAP candidate Solanki was lending him his support.
Vaghani and his supporters allegedly circulated pamphlets with “false information” to create confusion among people regarding the AAP candidate, thereby indulging in corrupt practices as envisaged under section 123 of the Representation of the People Act (RP Act),” Solanki said in his plea.
The pamphlets were designed to mislead voters into believing the AAP candidate was asking them to support Vaghani in polls at his behest, said the plea.
The petitioner said complaints were submitted to the police and election authorities, but an FIR (first information report) registered at the Bhavnagar police station in this connection did not mention the ruling party MLA as an accused.
The failure of respondents chief electoral officer and the district election officer and returning officer to take action on his repeated complaints is “illegal, arbitrary, mala fide, discriminatory, and against the well-established principles of natural justice as well as violative of the mandatory provisions of the Constitution of India,” Solanki said.