A Delhi court has cancelled the election of an AAP councillor from a south Delhi ward in last year's MCD elections here with a direction to the state election commission to hold a re-election. District and Sessions Judge Asha Menon passed the order on the petition filed by BJP's Pratibha Chauhan, who lost to AAP candidate Pooja in the Chirag Delhi ward 88S in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election held on April 23 last year, saying there were shortcomings in the filing of the latter's affidavit before the state election body.
"With regard to the dating of the affidavit by the respondent and the notarisation of the same, the discrepancy in the same cannot be overlooked as being a minor error," the judge said.
The court also observed that there seems to be "a deliberate failure" to date and time of the receipt and candidate Pooja "cannot take the benefit of such deliberate action or rather, inaction."
"The Rules and the Commission's direction provide that if a nomination has not been properly filled and the revised forms not deposited before scrutiny, the nomination has to be rejected. Clearly the nomination of respondent no.3 (Pooja) was accepted which appear to have been wrongly done," it said.
The court, however, refused to declare the petitioner the winner and ordered re-election in the ward, saying there was laxity in scrutiny of nomination papers.
The petition filed by Bhardwaj has alleged that the 2017 MCD election in Chirag Delhi ward 88S was conducted in violation of Delhi Municipal Corporation (Election of Councillors) Rules, 2012, as affidavits and nomination papers of the AAP councillor from the ward should have been rejected by the returning officer on account of serious discrepancies like late filing and not filling up the form properly.
Bharadwaj also sought herself to be declared as duly elected to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation or declaration of the election to the ward as null and void with directions to the State