Shruti Mahajan July 20 2019
The Allahabad High Court has issued notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a plea challenging his election from Varanasi in the General Elections of 2019.
In the petition filed by former BSF Jawaan and Samajwadi Party’s candidate from Varanasi, Tej Bahadur Yadav, Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta of the Allahabad High Court issued notice to Modi and fixed the next date of hearing on August 21.
The order passed by the Court reads,
“Issue notice to the sole opposite party by ordinary process, by registered post, as well as by publication in news paper fixing 21 August 2019. Registrar General to follow the procedure prescribed in this regard under Rule 5 and 6 of Ch. XV-A of the High Court Rules.
The notice shall call upon opposite party to appear and answer the claim on the date fixed. The noticee shall also be informed that if he wishes to put up a defence he shall file his written statement together with a list of all documents whether in his possession or power or not, up,on which he intends to rely in support of his case on or before the date fixed and further that in default of appearance being entered on or before the date fixed in the notice, the election petition shall be heard and determined in his absence.”
Yadav was represented by Senior Counsel Shailendra with Advocate Dharmendra Singh.
Yadav was fielded by the Samajwadi Party as its candidate from the Varanasi constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Varanasi is the same parliamentary constituency where Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested and won from in 2019.
Yadav’s nomination papers were reportedly rejected by the returning officer, citing his failure to submit a certificate that he was not sacked from the Army for either corruption or disloyalty. Yadav has challenged this rejection, contending that such a decision was taken to facilitate an easy victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Yadav has further submitted that the Returning Officer failed to note that he had produced his dismissal letter while filing his nomination papers. The dismissal letter, Yadav highlights, clearly shows that he had been dismissed for alleged indiscipline and not for corruption or disloyalty to the State.Therefore, there was no requirement for any additional certificate to prove that he had not been dismissed of corruption of disloyalty, his petition states.
Yadav had challenged this by way of writ petition in Supreme Court. However, a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had dismissed the petition on May 9.
The former BSF jawan had caused a stir in 2017 for criticising the Army’s treatment of its own. He had uploaded a video on his Facebook account showing the poor quality of food served to the jawans at the border. This video had soon gone viral, with severe criticism coming in from various quarters regarding the BSF’s functioning. Consequently, an inquiry was ordered against Yadav, and his family had allegedly lost touch with him soon after.
His wife had then approached the High Court seeking a writ of Habeas Corpus, alleging that Yadav had gone missing. Yadav was later dismissed from service in April 2017. He then sought to contest elections from Varanasi which did not materialise due to the Returning Officer rejecting his nomination