Millennium Post

Court questions Atishi Marlena's right to file plea against Gautam Gambhir

New Delhi: A Delhi court Wednesday asked AAP's Lok Sabha candidate from East Delhi, Atishi Marlena, to prove her locus standi for filing a petition against her BJP rival Gautam Gambhir for allegedly enrolling as a voter in two assembly segments.

Metropolitan Magistrate Viplav Dabas directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader to file more documents to prove her locus standi (the right to bring an action or to appear in a court) after her counsel said there was a "prima facie" case against Gambhir.

"How you are affected by this? If he has committed any wrong, what's your locus," the court asked.

Advocate Karuna Nundy, appearing for Marlena, told the court that Gambhir was a "dead man walking. He is not eligible to vote and will be disqualified as a candidate".

"Even if he wins, people of East Delhi should not be saddled with an MP who has no chance of survival in the near future. Voters should not be made to suffer," she told the court.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on May 6, six days before Delhi goes to polls.

The plea, filed by advocate Mohd Irshad on Thursday, alleged that Gambhir has enrolled "deliberately" and "illegally" as a voter in Karol Bagh and Rajinder Nagar assembly segments.

The petition further alleged that Gambhir has provided false information in his nomination papers, accompanying affidavit and other documents preceding voter screening and registration in order to be seen as qualified to contest elections and potentially secure membership of the parliament.

Marlena has said in the plea that the details of Gambhir's registration in the constituencies were available online on the Election Commission's National Voters' Service Portal.

The plea has sought directions to the Delhi Police to investigate offences under sections 17 and 31 of the Representation of People Act (RPA), 1950, and section 125A (penalty for filing false affidavit) of RPA, 1951.

Section 17 of the RPA, provides that no person is entitled to be enrolled as a voter in more than one constituency and its violation is a criminal offence punishable with maximum of one year imprisonment.

Section 31 of the Act makes false declaration in the matter of inclusion or exclusion of voter rolls punishable with up to one year in prison.

"It is clear that the Gambhir has made and continues to provide false information/statements/declarations to the relevant authorities like the Election Commission of India in order to obtain and retain enrolments as a voter in two constituencies," the plea alleged.

Both Marlena and Gambhir filed their nomination papers last week.

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