Lawyer seeks invalidation of Lalu Prasad’s election

March 11th, 2008 - 9:37 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) An advocate Tuesday pleaded before the Supreme Court that Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s 2004 election from the Chapra Lok Sabha seat in Bihar should be invalidated on the ground that he had not first resigned from the Madhepura seat before contesting from Chapra. The petition filed in the apex court’s registry by Lucknow-based advocate Ashok Pandey also sought direction to declare Lalu Prasad’s tenure as minister illegal from the date he resigned his Madepura seat June 16, 2004. Pandey contended that his election from Chhapra was illegal.

Pandey recalled that the Rashtriya Janata Dal president contested the 2004 general election from Chapra and Madhepura. But due to large-scale rigging by his party activists in Chapra, the Election Commission countermanded the polling in Chapra a few days before Lalu Prasad was declared elected from Madhepura May 13, 2004.

The results were notified by the Commission May 17, 2004, said Pandey, adding that Lalu Prasad was subsequently appointed railway minister and took oath of office May 22. However, he took oath as a Lok Sabha member from Madhepura May 26.

Meanwhile, the countermanded polling for Chapra seat was held May 31, which Lalu Prasad contested.

Pandey recalled that Lalu Prasad was declared elected from the Chapra seat as well June 2, 2004, and took oath as member from there June 16, but before resigning his Madhepura seat.

Pandey, in his petition, said that the minister could not have contested from Chapra despite being a member from a different seat, and therefore his election from Chapra was illegal.

Pandey disclosed that he had earlier raised the issue before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which had dismissed it, saying the court had no territorial jurisdiction over the matter.

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