Kochi: The Kerala High court on Tuesday set aside the election of Congress MLA Varkala Kahar from Varkala constituency, holding it "illegal."
However, the operation of the order has been suspended for a month on Kahar`s plea to enable him to file appeal in the Supreme Court.
Allowing the election petition of BSP Candidate S Prahaladan, Justice S S Sateeshchandran earlier declared Kahar`s election as void and directed the Registry to communicate the decision to the Legislative Assembly Speaker and Election Commission.
Shortly after pronouncement of the order, Kahar filed a plea to keep in abeyance the order to enable him file appeal.
Accepting the plea, the judge suspended the operation of the order for a month subject to certain conditions.
The court made it clear that Kahar should not participate in deliberations or vote in any matter. However, he was eligible to be present and sit in the Assembly and is free to draw perks and remuneration as Member of the house.
Prahaladan had contended that the election itself was "void" as the rejection of his nomination was illegal. The returning officer had illegally rejected his nomination without proper application of mind, he stated.
Accepting his plea, the court held that rejection of the nomination was `illegal` following which the election to the constituency was declared void. The returning officer had "improperly" rejected the nomination papers of Prahaladan and the reason for such rejection, not affixing the stamp for notarisation in the affidavit is found to be "unsustainable," the judge said.