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Naveen Chawla denies allegations by BJP leader Jaswant Singh

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 29 (UNI) Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla today denied all allegations made by senior BJP leader and former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh in his petition pending in the Supreme Court seeking removal of the EC.

Chawla in his counter petition alleged that the petition seeking his removal as the EC was ''politically motivated'' and should be dismissed. He also contended that the observation made by the Shah Commission, which was appointed to hold a judicial inquiry into the excesses committed during emergency, were uncalled for and unwarranted.

Mr Singh had filed a complaint signed by 204 NDA MPs before President A P J Abdul Kalam on March 16, 2006, seeking removal of Chawla as EC in view of his ''dubious track record''.

In his petition before the SC, Mr Singh had sought directions of Mr Kalam to refer the complaint to Chief Election Commissioner B B Tondon for his opinion in terms of Article 324 (4) of the Indian Constitution.

According to the Constitution, the President can remove an EC only on the recommendation of the CEC.

Earlier, the President had referred the complaint to the government who in turn sought the advice of Attorney-General of India Milon K Banerjee.

Mr Banerjee in his opinion said the allegations in the complaint related to the period before he was appointed EC and therefore there wasnothing illegal in his continuing as the EC. No action on the complaint was taken thereafter.

The CEC had already said in his counter that he could give his opinion in the matter only when the complaint was referred to him by the President. ''Till such time I have no role to play.'' Mr Singh in his petition had alleged that several congress MPs ''have contributed from their MPLAD scheme funds to the trusts run by his family member, including his wife Rupika Chawla, and such a person is not fit for the post of an EC''.

The case is coming up for hearing on July 24.

UNBI AKS/SC HS RN RS2059

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