HC disqualifies Odisha Congress MLA for submitting false affidavit
Bhubaneswar: In a setback to the Congress in Odisha, the Orissa High Court on Tuesday declared Sundargarh MLA Jogesh Kumar Singh's election null and void for submitting a fake caste certificate during the 2014 assembly election.
The disqualification comes in response to a petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Sahadev Xaxa and a voter, Ajay Patel. Xaxa had lost to Singh in the election.
The Sundargarh Assembly seat is reserved for scheduled tribe candidates under Article 332 of the constitution and Section 5 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The high court found that Singh had submitted a caste certificate which certified him as a "Khandayat Bhuyan", which is not included in the list of scheduled tribes.
"Sahadev Xaxa had filed an election petition against Sundargarh MLA Jogesh Singh after the assembly election in 2014. It was pleaded before the high court that Jogesh Singh is not a Scheduled Tribe (ST). He also submitted a false affidavit while filing its nomination. The Returning Officer illegally accepted his nomination paper," said Gopal Agarwal, counsel of Xaxa.
Meanwhile, Singh said the matter would be challenged in the Supreme Court.
"I am yet to see the order of the Orissa High Court. I will move the Supreme Court after consulting my lawyer. I have never submitted a false affidavit. My ancestors are tribal and by default I belong to the tribal community," said Jogesh Singh.