SC to hear Ahmed Patel’s plea on July 9

Ahmed Patel
File Photo

New Delhi, July 2 : The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a petition filed by Congress leader Ahmed Patel seeking direction to the Gujarat High Court to not proceed with a plea challenging his election to the Rajya Sabha.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud will hear Patel’s plea on July 9.

Balwantsinh Rajput, a former Congress MLA, had defected from the party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just ahead of the August 8, 2017 Rajya Sabha election for three seats in the state.

Rajput was fielded as a BJP nominee for one of the seats. He lost the election to Patel after the Election Commission passed an order invalidating the votes of former Congress MLAs Raghavjee Patel and Bholabhai Gohel over flouting of poll norms.

Going against the party’s decision, the two Congress leaders voted for Rajput instead of Patel.

The votes were invalidated by the EC, paving the way for Patel’s victory.

After the elections, Rajput filed the petition in August 2017 questioning the Commission’s order that came following objections raised by the Congress.

He had also accused Patel of indulging in corrupt practices by taking 44 Congress MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru and keeping them in captivity and spending lavishly on them.

The Gujarat High Court had rejected Patel’s plea against the admission of Rajput’s petition challenging the Election Commission’s decision that resulted in Ahmed Patel’s victory in the Rajya Sabha polls.

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