Mah: Court admits SP candidate's election plea
Mumbai, Feb 18: A local court has issued notices, returnable nextweek, to Maharashtra Election Commissioner, Zonal Election Officer,Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and police on an electionpetition by Samajwadi Party candidate Jamil K Merchant, alleginglarge-scale irregularities and rampant bogus voting in his ward duringthe civic elections.
Mr Merchant, who had unsuccessfully contested the elections onFebruary one from ward number 43, has also alleged that votes were alsocast in the names of dead people.
After admitting the petition, Principal Judge of Small Causescourt N B Pokharkar has issued notices in this regard to 13 othercandidates, who had contested the election from the same ward.
In the petition, he said one of the candidates Aslam Shaikh(respondent number 1), who won the elections on a Congress ticket, hadviolated the Code of Conduct from the first day, alleging that thoughthe actual elections were scheduled to begin at 0730 hrs, theElectronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were made operative at 0430 hrs inthe guise of demonstration.
Obviously, the same has been done to favour Mr Shaikh, he alleged.
After the voting was over at 1630 hrs, the EVMs remained unescorted for more than four to five hours, Mr Merchant alleged.
It was also alleged that the family members of Mr Shaikh werefound distributing money on the eve of polls and that the candidate hasoverspent during the elections, thus ''violating the norms''.
The petitioner prayed that fresh elections be conducted in ward No43 and Mr Shaikh be disqualified from the BMC, pending the disposal ofthe petition. The respondent's voting right be also suspended.