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Election petition against JD(U) MP dismissed

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 23:06

Patna: The Patna High Court on Wednesday rejected a petition challenging the election of JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh from Munger Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 General Elections.

Justice VN Sinha passed the order setting aside defeated candidate Ram Badan Rai`s petition alleging that large scale irregularities in deployment of Central forces in Munger parliamentary constituency in 2009 worked to the advantage of the JD(U) candidate.
The judge observed: "Deployment chart of central para military force in the constituency is an important piece of evidence, indicative of the fact that central para military force has been deployed on polling booths which were sensitive and required deployment of central para military force for ensuring free, fair election."

In the present case, had the deployment-chart been made available, there would not have been any difficulty for this Court to confirm the assertion of the Returning Officer that Returning Officer deployed central paramilitary force on the sensitive booths where Naxals had given call for poll boycott, he said.

The judge said that on that basis of deployment chart being available by the Returning Officer, the finding could have been recorded that all possible steps to conduct free and fair election in the Constituency were taken by the Returning Officer even then voters have not chosen to cast their vote on Booth No 72 and one vote each was polled on Booth Nos 73, 74 of 166 of Jamalpur Assembly constituency, situation could not have been retrieved in any manner, as nothing more than deployment of central paramilitary force could have been done for ensuring free, fair voting on those booths.
"To confirm deployment of Central para military force on the sensitive Booths, in my opinion, it should be the bounden duty of the Returning Officer to preserve the original deployment-chart with joint signature of District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of the area with the records of the concerned election," the judge said.

"Accordingly, I direct the Election Commission of India to issue instruction directing Returning Officer to maintain deployment-chart in original with the records of the election so that the same may be perused as and when necessity to peruse the same arises," he observed.

First Published: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 23:06
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