Is Election Petition at the Behest of Disqualified Candidate Maintainable? SC Judgment

The Supreme Court held that Election Petition at the behest of a Disqualified Candidate is not maintainable.

A Bench of Hon’ble CJI SA Bobde, Hon’ble Justice A S Bopanna and Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian dismissed the SLP filed by Saritha S. Nair challenging the dismissal of  Election Petition by Kerala High Court.

The Supreme Court held that mere suspension of sentence does not take away the rigour of Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act 1951.

However the Court also held that the High Court committed error in rejecting the Petition on the ground of existence of incurable defects in Election Petition.

In this case the nomination of S.Nair, a accused in the Solar Scam Scandal of Kerala, was rejected for the reason that she was convicted in 2 criminal cases.

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It was contended that her nomination was rejected illegally, as she simultaneously filed nomination for Amethi constituency and the same was accepted.

The Supreme Court further held that in view of Section 8(3) of the Act, the disqualification will start from the date of conviction and shall cease to have effect on the date of release or acquittal.

So long as there is no stay on conviction part, the disqualification remains intact.

So far as dismissal of Election Petition on the ground of incurable defects, the Supreme Court held that defects in the prayer and verification part of Petition was curable and an opportunity should have been given to cure the same.

Case Details:

Title: SARITHA S. NAIR vs. HIBI EDEN 

Case No. SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO.10678 OF 2020

Coram: Hon’ble CJI SA Bobde, Hon’ble Justice A S Bopanna and Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian

Date of Judgment: 09.12.2020

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