Orissa High Court declares Malkangiri MLA's election as void

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Cuttack, Jun 24 (UNI) Orissa High Court has declared the election of Congress MLA from Malkangiri Assembly constituency Nimai Sarkar as void.

Mr Sarkar was elected to the Assembly defeating the then BJP nominee Arabinda Dhali in the 2004 election by 253 votes.

Mr Sarkar had polled 57,713 votes against Mr Dhali's 57,460.

Adjudicating a petition filed by Mr Dhali, the single bench of Justice A Naidu annulled the election of Mr Sarkar and directed the state Elecition Commission yesterday to take further action in the matter in accordance with the law.

Mr Dhali, in his petition, had challenged the election of Mr Sarkar citing several irregularities and discrepancies both in the conduct of the election and counting of votes.

The petitioner had alleged that the Form 17 C, which details the number of voters and votes polled, was not maintained properly.

The votes for the Lok Sabha were passed off as Assembly ballots in three booths.

Mr Dhali had also alleged that the polls were not free and the election rules were violated and prayed the court to annul the election of Mr Sarkar.

UNI BD DPM SS1206

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