Court rejects BJP MP’s plea to dismiss petition related to undeclared property; says voters need to know candidate
The Bombay high court has rejected MP and BJP leader Gopal Shetty’s application to dismiss a petition filed against him by Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam. In 2014, Nirupam had challenged Shetty’s appointment as the MP of Mumbai North constituency on the grounds that he had not disclosed the immovable property owned by him. Nirupam’s counsel Saurabh Butala had said that under Section 100(1)(d) (iv) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a candidate’s election could be declared void, if he did not comply with rules.
Soon after, Shetty filed an application to quash Nirupam’s petition. Shetty’s counsel BD Joshi had counter-argued that the BJP leader had won by a large margin of 4,51,582 votes. “Declaring his Kandivli property would not have made a huge impact on the minds of the voters,” Joshi had said then. Further, Shetty said that the other property that Nirupam claimed was jointly owned by him and his wife, wasn’t in his name. The property, he argued, was still in the name of the original owner.
However, on Thursday, Justice Mridual Bhatkar dismissed Shetty's application. “A voter has elementary rights to get particulars of a candidate representing him in the Parliament or Assembly,” Justice Bhatkar observed.