Upholding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition by his Congress opponent challenging it.
Passing the order, Justice Vikram Nath also rapped petitioner Ajay Rai, Congress MLA and the party’s candidate from Varanasi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, for approaching the court with an election petition that was “half hearted” and contained allegations which were “vague and bald statements not supported by material facts”.
The court also allowed the preliminary objection raised by the team of counsel representing Modi, led by Additional Solicitor General of India and Law Commission member Satyapal Jain. The court, which began dictating orders in an open court on Monday, rejected the petitioner’s objection to Modi’s writing “not known” in his nomination papers against the column relating to his wife Jashodaben’s assets and liabilities.
“In the absence of any such specific and detailed pleading, no case is made out for interference on this ground,” the court ruled. Regarding allegations about election expenditure, the court remarked that the petitioner had made “vague and bald statements” like “more than Rs 50 crore” having been spent on Modi’s campaign which involved booking of several rooms in posh hotels for more than a month and hiring of about 400 vans, equipped with LED screens. The court was of the view that even if the amount spent on campaign exceeded the limit fixed by Election Commission “in the absence of material facts, it would be difficult to make the issue triable”.