City Reports

Jaipur court rejects plea to invalidate JMC ward election results over polling booth controversy

"If returning officer has been involved in any irregularity, a complaint can be registered at the administrative level against him."

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January 30, 2024, 3:19 pm

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District Judge Court, Jaipur Metro. File photo

JAIPUR: District Judge, Jaipur Metro – I has held that mere irregularity in the setting up of a polling station can not vitiate the entire election process. 

The court made these remarks while dismissing an election petition filed by one Dinesh Vyas, pertaining to the election and results of Jaipur Municipal Greater Ward 102, against BJP corporator Mahendra Sharma and 10 others.

In her judgement, DJ Nandini Vyas stated that if the returning officer has been involved in any irregularity in setting up an election center or pulling booth, a complaint can be registered at the administrative level against him. 

However, the candidates, whether they won or lost, cannot be taken to court merely on this ground. The election process cannot be deemed illegitimate and the winning candidate cannot be deprived of their right to elected office on these grounds.

Advocate Sandeep Lohadia appearing on behalf of the respondents told The PinkCity Post that the elections for Ward No 102 of Jaipur Greater Municipal Corporation were held on November 1, 2020, and the results were announced on November 3, 2020. The BJP candidate was declared the winner.

The petitioner alleged that the returning officer violated their duties by using a school situated in independent candidate Ankit Sharma’s residence premises as a polling booth. 

According to section 27 of the Rajasthan Municipalities (Election) Rules, 1994, a private residential building or premises cannot be used as a polling station. The petitioner alleged the returning officer was aware that the premises were being used for private residential purposes, despite that he approved the premises for its use as a polling booth. 

The petitioner also alleged Ankit Sharma had his mother and sister appointed as polling agents.

Ankit Sharma lost and BJP candidate Mahindra Sharma won; therefore, the petitioner requested that the election at the polling station be canceled because they were not conducted fairly and a reelection should be conducted. 

Advocate Sandeep Luhadia said that however, the court dismissed the petition saying the petitioner has the remedy to approach appropriate authorities at the administrative level and register a complaint about the said irregularities.

First published: January 30, 2024