The Supreme Court Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking to declare as void the bypoll to Rampur Sadar assembly seat on grounds that many voters were restrained from casting votes.
The seat had fallen vacant after Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan was disqualified following a conviction in a criminal case.
“This amounts to turning election law upside down. How can you challenge an election by filing a writ petition? Please file an election petition,” a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said.
The bench, also comprising Justices P S Narasimha and JB Pardiwala, said now even the results have been declared and no plea, except an election petition, can be entertained.
Lawyer Sulaiman Mohd Khan, who had filed the PIL in his personal capacity, agreed to the observations of the bench, but said that if he had filed a plea in the Allahabad High Court, it would not have been listed for hearing for ten days at least.
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Moreover, the election petition can only be filed after the results were declared, the lawyer added.
“No no, we are not entertaining this,” the bench said, leading the lawyer to withdraw the PIL.
BJP candidate Akash Saxena defeated Azam Khan’s nominee Asim Raja in the Rampur Sadar Assembly by-election in the results announced on December 8.
The seat had fallen vacant after Azam Khan was disqualified from the Legislative Assembly after the court sentenced him to three years in prison for delivering hate speeches.