Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, a minister in the BJP government in Gujarat has moved to the Supreme Court challenging the verdict of the Gujarat High Court, which held his election from Dholka Constituency in 2017 as Void.
He contended that his rival, the losing Congress candidate Ashwin Rathod has not led positive, reliable and cogent evidence to prove any of the issues. On May 12, the High Court declared Chudasama’s election in 2017 as void on grounds of malpractice and manipulation.
Justice Paresh Upadhyay cancelled Chudasama’s election in an order passed on an petition filed by Rathod, challenging the BJP leader’s victory from Dholka constituency by a margin of 327 votes in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls.
In his election petition, Rathod alleged that Chudasama indulged in “corrupt practice and breach of many of the mandatory instructions of the Election Commission, at various stages of the election process, more particularly at the time of counting of votes”.
Chudasama currently holds charge of the education, law and justice, legislative and parliamentary affairs, and some other departments in the Vijay Rupani government.
On the very same day on May 12, the Election Commission has also set up a Committee of Officers for examining the details of the decision of the Gujarat High Court and submits the same before the Commission.
EC’s press statement stated that “In this matter, on behest of the Commission, direction had already been conveyed to the State Government of Gujarat to initiate disciplinary action against the then Returning Officer Mr Dhaval Jani, Deputy Collector. The proceedings are underway.“
-India Legal Bureau