The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on Tuesday its verdict on a plea by sacked BSF Jawan Tej Bahadur challenging the rejection of his nomination papers to contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi constituency. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had on November 18 reserved its judgement on Bahadur's plea challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict which had dismissed his election petition against the poll panel's decision to reject his nomination papers.
During the hearing before the top court, Bahadur's lawyer had argued that the petitioner had earlier filed his nomination as an independent candidate and later as a candidate of Samajwadi Party from Varanasi constituency. Referring to the high court's verdict, the lawyer had claimed that Bahadur's nomination was rejected for extraneous reasons.
The Returning Officer on May 1 last year had rejected the nomination papers of Bahadur, a Samajwadi Party candidate, who was dismissed from BSF in 2017 after he posted a video online complaining about the quality of food served to the troops. While rejecting the nomination papers of Bahadur, the Returning Officer had observed that "the nomination paper is not accompanied by certificate issued in the prescribed manner by the Election Commission to the effect that he has not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state". In a nut-shell the factual matrix of the case is that on the directions of the Returning officer, the nomination of the appellant to the elections was wrongly rejected for not being presented in a prescribed manner and rejected the nomination/candidature of the Appellant for the Election of the 17th Lok Sabha from 77th Parliamentary Constituency (Varanasi), U.P. to be held in April May 2019, Bahadur has said in his plea.
Bahadur has said he has sought a declaration that the election of respondent (Narendra Modi) be declared as void and the order passed by the returning officer dated May 1, 2019, rejecting his nomination be set aside. He has claimed that high court had failed to appreciate that nomination letter of the appellant has been rejected by the district Election Officer by going against the intention of the legal provisions and by misusing the provisions mentioned in the sections 9 and 33(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
On May 9, last year, the top court had rejected his plea by which he has challenged EC's decision to reject his nomination papers from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. The top court had said that it does not find any grounds to entertain the plea.