SC annuls Himachal Pradesh MLA's election over false caste claim

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) The Supreme Court has declared null and void the election of 35-Gangath constituency(reserved) legislator Bodhraj, who won the seat in the last assembly election held in February 2003, for furnishing wrong details to the Election Commission about his community at the time of filing papers.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran, in their judgment dated November 30, while setting aside the judgment of Himachal Pradesh High Court dismissing the election petition by Mr Desraj, noted, ''In view of the above, we are of the view that the appellant has clearly established that the respondent and his family belong to the Tarkhan caste which is not a Scheduled Caste in Himachal Pradesh. Therefore, we allow this appeal, set aside the judgement of the High Court and declare the election of the returned candidate (Bodhraj) from 35-Gangath Assembly constituency in the 2003 election to be void.'' Mr Desraj had challenged the election of Mr Bodhraj, saying the latter did not belong to the reserved category and hence he be disqualified to contest from a constituency reserved for SCs.

According to the petitioner, Mr Bodhraj had falsely claimed that he belonged to the Lohar community (blacksmith) while he, in fact, belonged to the Tarkhan community (carpenter) which is not included in the list of the SCs.

UNI

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