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Delhi HC asks Centre, EC, state govt to respond on plea seeking to file nomination papers

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The Delhi High Court today asked the Union government, Election Commission & Delhi Government to file a response to a petition filed by 11 people seeking to file nomination papers from New Delhi assembly constituency. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also contesting from the same assembly constituency.

On January 28, the high court had dismissed the plea of the 11 petitioners stating that petition was not maintainable due to the bar on court’s jurisdiction in electoral matters under Art 329(b) of the Constitution of India and Section 100 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

11 people had claimed that the  Election officer at Jam Nagar allowed out of turn entry of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to fill the nomination papers. They mentioned that they were deprived of their constitutional right to file their nomination papers for Delhi Assembly Polls, guaranteed to them under Articles 5 and 173 of the Constitution, thus alleging the actions/inactions of the Election Officer to be wrongful, illegal, arbitrary, unconstitutional and malafide.

It was stated by the petitioners that they were issued tokens for sequence of filing their nomination papers. However, at the end of the day, due to paucity of time, they were asked to come the next day. The token system was not in place the next morning. The names of other candidates were being recorded on an ordinary piece of paper, outside the election office, out of the view of any CCTV coverage. But when the chief minister came to file his nomination papers, people were “thrashed away” to make room for Kejriwal.

The petition had alleged illegal and unwarranted use of police force to facilitate the filing of the CM’s nomination papers. Further, it claimed gross violation of Clause 6.2 of the Handbook of the Returning Officer.

The petitioners had sought directions to the Centre, Election Commission, the Chief Electoral Officer and the Returning Officer to not finalise the list of candidates, and instead, initiate measures which would help them to file their nomination forms for contesting election from the New Delhi seat against Kejriwal.

The next hearing for the matter is scheduled on February 6, 2020.

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