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Right to Reject may disrupt Parl; SC seeks Centre, EC reply




The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre and the Election Commission on a PIL seeking direction to give voters the right to reject a candidate in an election, if maximum votes are polled in favour of NOTA.

The plea argued that the contesting candidates should be considered as rejected and not be allowed to fight fresh elections.

“Right to reject and elect new candidate will give power to the people to express their discontent,” said the plea.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde posed a query, if an influential political party manages to get many candidates rejected, then in that backdrop of so many vaccancies, it will be difficult for the Parliament to function.

Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, representing the petitioner, submitted his client had approached the statutory authorities, but he has not received any response.

The bench also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said, “it is a constitutional problem”.

“If your argument is accepted, and all candidates are rejected and that constituency goes unrepresented completely”, the bench reiterated its query, “how will a valid Parliament be constituted?”

Guruswamy replied that the right to reject will lead to political parties to get acceptable candidates.

The bench said these suggestions are difficult to be accepted, though it completely understands the essence of the contention in the petition.

After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court issued notice on the plea.

The plea argued that the right to reject will check corruption, criminalization, casteism communalism, regionalism etc., which are menace to the democracy, and political parties would be forced to give tickets to honest candidates.

The plea has been filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who said: “The right to reject and elect new candidate will empower the people and accelerate their participation since they could abstain and register their discontent with low quality candidates without fear of reprisal.

“It would foster purity of election process by eventually compelling the parties to field better candidates thus control the criminalization.”

Upadhyay urged the top court to direct the Election Commission to use its plenary power conferred under Article 324 to nullify the election result and hold fresh election, if maximum votes have been polled in favour of NOTA in particular constituency.

The plea also sought top court’s direction to the Centre to take apposite steps to invalidate the election result and hold fresh election, if maximum votes have been polled in favour of NOTA in a particular constituency.

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By giving clean chit to Agra hospital, UP govt did mock drill of inquiry: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra




Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for giving a clean chit to an Agra hospital where 22 patients died after oxygen supply was allegedly cut during a drill.

She said that the government has closed all the doors of justice.

Priyanka, who is also the in-charge of UP Congress, tweeted: “What an irony. According to reports a hospital in Agra conducted mock drill by allegedly cutting the oxygen supply and the BJP government gave clean chit to the hospital doing mock drill of the inquiry. The paths of government and the hospital have been cleared. By not listening to the complaints of the patients families, the government has shut all hope of justice.”

She also attached a news report claiming that a clean chit was given to the Paeas Hospital, which was caught in a controversy after a video surfaced online.

In the video, a man was heard saying to conduct a mock drill on oxygen supply.

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Gurugram: FIR against ex-BJP MLA for forging court records




Following a complaint by the District Town Planner (DTP), the Gurugram police on Friday registered FIRs against three persons, including a former Gurugram BJP MLA for allegedly forging court records and circulating them on social media, the police said on Saturday.

According to the police, on May 16, former BJP MLA Umesh Aggarwal’s associates had filed a plea alleging contempt of court against the officials of the DTP team for carrying out demolition drive in an illegal colony in Sector-77 Kherki Daula, on June 10.

The District Town Planner R.S. Batth in his police complaint alleged that former MLA, Umesh Aggarwal had circulated forged court summons on social media, claiming that a contempt of court proceedings had been initiated against the officials of the DTP department by a court.

Following the complaint, an FIR has been registered against three under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Sector-14 police station.

“Before carrying out the demolition drive, all legal formalities were taken but the trio continue to develop an illegal colony,” Bhatt told IANS.

“In connection with the matter an FIR has been registered. Further probe is underway,” said a police officer.

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BJP demands attempt to murder case against Pinarayi Vijayan




Joining issue in the ongoing war of words between chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and new Congress president K. Sudhakaran, on Saturday, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan demanded that an attempt to murder case against Vijayan be lodged.

On Saturday, at Sudhakaran’s press conference, his party colleague K. Gopi, who hails from Vijayan’s village in Kannur, recalled an old incident, that in 1977 when 26 beedi workers were terminated from a society, they led a protest.

“I was leading the protest and then Vijayan with a sword led a group of people and he brandished his sword and it hit my hand and the injury mark is still there,” said Gopi showing his hand and adding that despite his complaint to the local police then, there was no further action in the case.

Muraleedharan told the media in the state capital that if the Congress party is serious in the allegation, they should register a police complaint.

“There is no time limit to an attempt to murder case and hence, Sudhakaran should ask Gopi to go forward and register a fresh complaint,” said Muraleedharan.

He also pointed out that in the past two days both these leaders have been revisiting their college days at the Government Brennen College and have been saying about their deeds then and it shows that both of them were goons and criminals.

“My appeal to both of them is not to portray a great institution like Brennen College by distorting its greatness, and lowering it as a place of goons,” said Muraleedharan.

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