Tuesday, June 6, 2023

MP HC dismisses petition challenging Pragya Thakur’s 2019 election as petitioner did not appear

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has dismissed a petition challenging Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha member Pragya Singh Thakur’s election from Bhopal on the grounds of her “communal speech” as despite repeated opportunities neither the petitioner nor Only his lawyer appeared in the case. A single bench of Justice Vishal Dhagat dismissed the petition on December 12 and also referred to two previous cases which had dealt with the issues raised in the application.

“In view of the above, since the petitioner is not appearing despite repeated opportunities being given to him, the election petition is dismissed,” the judge said.

The petition was filed by Rakesh Dixit, a Bhopal resident, alleging that Thakur had “incited communal speech and religious sentiment” to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in violation of Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act.

This section deals with corrupt practices, including appeal by a candidate or his agent to vote or refrain from voting to any person on grounds of religion, race, caste, community or language.

The HC noted that even the counsel for the petitioner did not appear in the court to argue in favor of the petition.

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“No one appeared for the petitioner on 11.10.2022, 23.11.2022 and 29.11.2022. In spite of the circular and listing of cause list, the learned counsel for the petitioner is not appearing in the matter. The petitioner was given repeated opportunities to argue the preliminary issue,” according to the court order.

The court order referred to two cases in which the law on this issue was settled – P Nalla Thampi Thera Dr v. BL Shankar (AIR 1984 SC 135) and Punjab & Haryana 268-Gurmesh Bishnoi v. Bhajan Lal (AIR 2003 ).

The petitioner had attached CDs of BJP leader’s speeches and clippings of news reports along with the petition to substantiate his allegations.

Thakur defeated Congress veteran and two-time chief minister Digvijaya Singh by a huge margin of 3,64,822 votes in 2019 from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, which the saffron party has been winning since 1989.

(This report has been published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. Except for the headline, no edits have been made to the copy by ABP Live.)

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