SC grants partial relief to woman BJP MP

Supreme Court refused to set aside a Karnataka High Court order, which has disqualified woman BJP MP J Shantha from Bellary (ST) Lok Sabha seat.

Updated: Jun 26, 2012, 20:32 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to set aside a Karnataka High Court order, which has disqualified woman BJP MP J Shantha from Bellary (ST) Lok Sabha seat, but allowed her to attend the Parliamentary proceedings without exercising her voting right or availing any perquisite.

A bench of justices H L Gokhale and Ranjana Prakash Desai gave the partial relief to the woman BJP MP, while admitting her special leave petition against the June 11 order of the high court, which had set aside her election for the electoral malpractices, allegedly committed by her.

Shantha, who defeated N Y Hanumanthappa of Congress in the election, is the sister of former state minister B Sreeramulu, who has floated his own party "Badavara Shramikara and Raithara" (BSR).

Appearing for Shantha, counsel Maninder Singh and Balaji Srinivasan submitted that the high court fell into error in setting aside her election and directing recounting of votes.

"The high court had acted in a manner which is not known to the election law. There is no provision under the law by which an election is set aside and re-counting is ordered," Singh told the bench.

The counsel urged the apex court to provide an interim relief by setting aside the high court order which, he said, failed to consider that the election petitioner had not furnished any relevant material or supporting documents to substantiate the allegations.
The court, however, while refusing to set aside the high court order, granted her a temporary reprieve saying that the "petitioner is permitted to attend Parliament but she will not be entitled to vote or any perquisite."

On June 11, a single judge of the high court, Justice H Billappa had set aside Shantha`s election on a petition by Congress worker M Chandregowda, seeking her disqualification on the allegation that irregularities were committed during the counting of votes.
PTI