Sangma moves SC against Pranab's election as Prez

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New Delhi, Aug 21: Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader PA Sangma, who contested against Pranab Mukherjee in this year's presidential poll, has moved the Supreme Court. Sangma said Mukherjee's election as the nation's 14th President should be set aside for he was holding an office of profit while filing his nomination for the election to the prestigious post.

Sangma said in his petition that Mukherjee, who won a one-sided contest last month, was holding the post of Chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, during the time of his nomination. He said that a proper procedure was not followed in accepting the former Finance Minister's resignation from the ISI. Sangma's petition said that the Returning Officer should have rejected Mukherjee's nomination for he had held an office of profit.

Raising the point, Sangma's counsel Satyapal Jain said the court should set aside Mukherjee's candidature and instead announce Sangma as elected. In the election, Mukherjee got 69.31 per cent of votes while Sangma, who was supported by the BJP and a few other parties, could garner just 30.69 per cent of votes.

This is not the first time that such an incident has taken place in India. In 1969, VV Giri, an independent candidate who had won by a conscience vote against the official Congress candidate, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy. After Giri was elected, a petition was filed in the apex court, demanding to set aside his election for corrupt practices were allegedly used to influence the voters. However, the case was finally dismissed and Giri's election upheld.

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