Gram panchayat member fighting for justice

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Kundapur, Jul 31: Gross negligence on part of the government officials has forced an elected woman gram panchayat member of the BJP to sit at home and fight for justice while her defeated opponent, also a woman, was enjoying all benefits of an elected member as president of the panchayat for about three years.

According to Mr K Balakrishna Shetty, the president of Udupi district unit BJP Lawyers' Forum, the mistake committed by a government official forced the woman, to fight for her rights for three long years for justice. The BJP candidate Ms Shobha got 377 votes as against her opponent Ms Nagaratna who secured only 359 votes in the election held for Jadkal gram panchayat in the year 2005. However, because of a grave mistake committed by the returning officer, the winning certificate was issued in favour of Nagaratna, despite protests lodged by the winning candidate.

The next day after the declaration of results, Ms Shobha approached the Assistant Commissioner and the taluk tahsildar for reversal of the decision, citing the injustice. But her plea was turned down by them. A disappointed and aggrieved Shobha filed a suit in the Second Additional Court, which after going through relevant records and examining witnesses, declared that Shobha was the winning candidate.

However, Nagaratna approached the High Court through a writ petition praying for a direction to strike down the local court verdict.

Both the High Court after hearing the arguments and examining documents, had upheld the judgment of the local court.


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