Inconsistency in state and Central EC rules: Gujarat HC

The Gujarat High Court today observed that there was lack of uniformity in the rules of the state and the Central Election Commissions on initiation of action against elected representatives for making false declarations in the election affidavit.

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court today observed that there was lack of uniformity in the rules of the state and the Central Election Commissions on initiation of action against elected representatives for making false declarations in the election affidavit.

The division bench of Justices Akil Kureshi and Z K Saiyed noted this while hearing a petition filed against Vadodara Mayor Bharat Dangar, who is accused of not giving certain details of his assets in the affidavit filed during the municipal elections last year.

A notification of Gujarat State Election Commission says the returning officer can file an FIR in this regard, while the Election Commission of India, in a 2014 order, had said that any aggrieved person can file an FIR.

Stating that both the state EC and the ECI being Constitutional bodies they should have uniformity in rules, the High Court adjourned the hearing to April 25, seeking replies.

RTI activist Jitendra Chandwani alleged in his petition that Dangar made several wrong declarations, and did not reveal that details of assets such as his licenced revolver and shares, the allowance paid to him as a director of Bank of Baroda, etc.

The court rejected Chandwani's prayer that it should set aside Dangar's election and declare him disqualified for contesting elections in future. Only an "election tribunal" can do it, the HC said.

His second demand is that FIR be registered against Dangar. On this, HC asked the State Election Commission, the returning officer and Dangar to submit replies within three weeks.

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