The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has dismissed a review petition, which sought that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah be disqualified under the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951. The petitioner, advocate Ram Khobragade, had earlier filed a writ petition in this connection, which was dismissed by the high court on August 6 last year. The petition demanded that Modi and Shah be declared guilty of ”corrupt practices” under section 123 of the RP Act and disqualified for alleged violation of the model code of conduct during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The petitioner had later filed a review petition, which was also dismissed by the high court on June 10 and imposed a cost of Rs 500 on him, which it ordered be deposited in the account of the High Court Legal Services Sub-Committee, Nagpur. A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Anil Kilor dismissed the petition.
The petitioner said that the plea filed by him was not an election petition, but one that seeks to declare disqualification of PM Modi and other respondents on the ground that they indulged in corrupt practices, and added that it also seeks to move the Election Commission for taking appropriate action against Modi and other respondents.
The court observed that the petitioner is seeking disqualification of the respondents on such an allegation, and the appropriate remedy for him would be the one as provided under Section 80 of the RP Act. In fact, indulging in corrupt practices is one of the grounds available for an aggrieved person for seeking a declaration of the election to be void under Section 100 of that Act, it said. The petitioner submits that the court has the power to declare both the respondents disqualified on the ground that they indulged in corrupt practices and this power is conferred upon the court under Section 99 of the RP Act, it added.
Section 99 of the Act deals with the power of the high court to try an election petition. This proposition of law pertains to the nature of the orders that may be passed by the high court trying an election petition.