Hayliang MLA Dasanglu Pul’s candidacy declared as void by the High Court.
The Itanagar bench of the Guwahati High Court on Tuesday declared the candidacy of Hayuliang MLA Dasanglu Pul as void under the Representation of People Act, 1951 for concealing material facts in her election affidavit.
Hearing a petition filed by Lupalum Kri, the Congress candidate who lost to Dasanglu Pul in 2019, the HC observed that “the respondent/returned candidate had not presented her nomination paper in accordance with Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and, as such, the nomination paper of the respondent/returned candidate is liable to be rejected under Section 36 (2) (a) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”
“Hence, the improper acceptance of the nomination of the respondent/returned candidate by the returning officer (RO), therefore, has materially affected the result of the election of the respondent/returned candidate,” the court order stated.
Kri claimed Pul’s candidacy was substantially defective as she concealed the material facts ( properties of her late husband, Kalikho Pul in Mumbai and two in Arunachal Pradesh in her election affidavit) in Form 26 in the affidavit filed by her.
Kri challenged the election, claiming that the Returning Officer had improperly accepted Pul's candidature despite written objections by him against her.
“The six properties of the late spouse of the respondent/returned candidate mentioned in the legal heir certificate, dated 04.05.2017 (PE-5), was not disclosed by the returned candidate in Form 26, filed along with her nomination paper, which was a defect of a substantial character. The nomination of the respondent/returned candidate is, therefore, liable to be rejected,” Kri argued in his petition.
Following the judgment, Pul may technically no longer be an MLA as her election has been declared as void, however, the court said that the ruling can be effected only after hearing the respondent’s petition.
Pul in her affidavit stated that she, “under the bonafide belief that, in view of the legal heir certificate, the first wife of late Kalikho Pul, Dangwimsai Pul, is the owner of the properties of late Kalikho Pul as indicated in the said legal heir certificate.”
“It was due to this bonafide belief that she did not disclose or mention any of those properties in the sworn affidavit in Form 26. She further claimed that she came to learn about the judgment on the Criminal Revision Petition No 11 (L)/2017 when the election petitioner in his written objection brought out these facts,” the affidavit further read.
Reportedly, Pul will now file a petition challenging the judgment of the High Court to retain her MLA seat.
(With inputs from The Hindu)
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