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Setback for Ahmed Patel as High Court Will Hear Plea Against His Rajya Sabha Win

The Congress leader was elected to the upper house of Parliament after he defeated Rajput who had quit the Congress to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

PTI

Updated:October 26, 2018, 10:44 PM IST
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Setback for Ahmed Patel as High Court Will Hear Plea Against His Rajya Sabha Win
File photo of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
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Ahmedabad: In a setback for Ahmed Patel, the Gujarat High Court on Friday said it will hear a petition filed by BJP's Balwantsinh Rajput against the senior Congress leader's election to the Rajya Sabha last year.

Patel's application questioning the maintainability of Rajput's plea was dismissed by Justice Bela Trivedi. The court will now hear the plea from November 19.

The Congress leader was elected to the upper house of Parliament after he defeated Rajput who had quit the Congress to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Patel was declared the winner after the Election Commission invalidated the votes of rebel Congress MLAs Bholabhai Gohel and Raghavjee Patel, bringing down the number of votes needed for victory to 44 from 45.

Rajput challenged, before the high court, the poll panel's decision to invalidate the votes of the two rebel MLAs. Had these votes been counted, he would have defeated Patel, the BJP leader said.

Rajput also alleged that Patel had taken Congress MLAs to a resort in Bengaluru before the election which amounted to "bribing the voters".

Patel sought dismissal of the petition for not serving the respondents an attested copy, as required by law.

The petition was "not at all maintainable" as it violated provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, he argued.

However, the high court, on April 20, rejected Patel's plea, saying the petitioner had substantially complied with the provisions of the law.

Patel moved the Supreme Court against the order, contending that the decision of the poll panel cannot be challenged by an election petition. Last month, the Supreme Court sent the matter back to the high court for a fresh hearing.

The high court on Friday once again rejected Patel's application.
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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