HC dismisses appeal of Congress' substitute candidate in Indore who sought to contest election

Akshay Kanti Bam
Akshay Kanti Bam

Indore | The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Saturday dismissed an appeal filed by Congress' substitute candidate who wanted to contest from the Indore Lok Sabha constituency on the party's symbol after its original candidate withdrew from the fray.

The decision came as a further setback to Congress which has been left without a candidate in Indore after its nominee Akshay Kanti Bam withdrew his nomination on April 29, and joined the BJP.

Moti Singh, the Congress' `dummy' candidate, had challenged the April 30 decision of a single bench of the High Court rejecting his plea.

Justices S A Dharmadhikari and Gajendra Singh of the Indore bench of the HC on Saturday upheld the single judge's decision.

"Considering the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case and in the light of the principles laid down in the case of Election Commission of India and Manda Jagannath, we find force in the submissions made by the learned counsel for the respondents....this appeal being bereft of merit and substance is hereby dismissed," the division bench ruling said.

Singh's nomination papers were rejected by the returning officer eight days ago.

But when Bam pulled out of the election on the last date of withdrawal of nominations, Singh moved the HC, seeking that he should be allowed to contest as Congress candidate.

The Returning Officer had rejected his nomination during scrutiny on April 26 only on the ground that he was a substitute candidate and the original candidate (Bam) was in the fray, he contended.

The Election Commission said that as Singh's nomination had already been rejected, there was no question of allowing him to contest the election.

Singh's lawyer Jayesh Gurnani told PTI that they were consulting legal experts about filing a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court to challenge the high court's decision.

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