Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday upheld the Election of former Union Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi`s son M K Alagiri from Madurai Lok Sabha Constituency in the 2009 Parliament elections.
Justice V Dhanapalan passed the judgement dismissing an election petition by CPI(M)`s A Lazar, the party`s substitute candidate, who had challenged Alagiri?s election on various grounds of alleged irregularities including bribing of the electors by distributing cash of Rs 500 each.
The Judge observed that there was no "concrete, cogent and clinching" evidence coupled with supporting documents in the statements of the witnesses and Lazar, being the substituted petitioner, had no direct knowledge of the malpractices alleged by original petitioner in the election petition.
"...(hence) it is highly difficult for this court to conclude that Alagiri had resorted to corrupt practices as alleged by the election petitioner during the election to the Madurai Parliamentary constituency in 2009," he held.
Referring to the petitioner`s submission that several newspapers had published news items regarding the alleged distribution of sarees and other things, the Judge said newspaper reports by themselves were not evidence of the contents thereof and were only a hearsay evidence.
The law is well settled that in order to depend on newspaper reports the same have to be proved by letting in proper evidence.
Election cannot be set aside on presumptions and surmises or conjectures, Justice Dhanapalan said adding a clear, cogent proof in support of the allegations was essential.
"The evidence let in by the petitioner runs well short of establishing the charges levelled against Alagiri," he held.
Originally, defeated CPI(M) candidate, P Mohan, filed the petition. Subsequently, he died. Mohan was substituted in the election petition by Lazar, CPI(M)`s alternative candidate, who also submitted his nomination and withdrew it later.
Alagiri was declared winner by the Returning Officer having secured 4,31,295 votes against deceased petitioner Mohan who got 2,90,310 votes.