New Delhi, Jul 10: Nomination papers of election candidates cannot be rejected without proper scrutiny and reasoning by returning officers as it may lead to “grave consequences” of ensuring victory of a particular contender, the Supreme Court has held.
“We are of the opinion that when a nomination paper is presented it is a bounden duty of the returning officer to receive the nomination, peruse it, point out the defects, if any, and allow candidates to rectify the defects and when the defects are not removed then alone the question of rejection of nomination would arise,” it court said in a judgement.
“Any other view, in our opinion, will lead to grave consequences and the returning officers may start refusing to accept the nomination at the threshold which may ensure victory to a particular candidate at the election,” it said.
A bench of justices H S Bedi and C K Prasad dismissed Karnataka MLA Nandiesha Reddy's appeal challenging a petition filed in the state high court by Kavitha Mahesh, a candidate whose nomination was rejected by the returning officer for K R Pura Assembly constituency polls held on May 10, 2008.
His election was challenged by Mahesh, inter alia, on the ground that her nomination was illegally rejected by the returning officer which rendered Reddy's election void.
According to the aggrieved candidate, the returning officer rejected her nomination despite the fact that her nomination paper was endorsed by 10 electors and she was not furnished with the copies of the electoral rolls despite several representation.
She submitted that on account of the rejection of her nomination paper, Reddy's election was easily faciliated.
The high court had admitted her petition and dismissed Reddy's plea that it cannot be entertained. PTI