Bellary MP can vote in Prez poll

The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed BJP MP from Bellary Lok Sabha constituency J Shantha to cast her vote in the Presidential election scheduled for July 19. The MP­, whose election was set-aside by the Karnataka High Court, was earlier on June 26 granted permission by the apex court to participate in the Parliament proceedings only. She was, however, disallowed voting rights and perks and allowances.

Hearing a fresh plea from her, a bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Mishra partially modified the previous order, by allowing her to cast her vote in the Presidential elections. But the bench said that her vote would be kept in a separate sealed cover and would be counted only after the direction from the court.

“The Presidential election is a rare event. It is not going to cause you any harm if she is allowed to vote,” the court told counsel, representing Congress worker M Chandregouda, who had filed the election petition against her election.

Senior advocate Joydeep Gupta, appearing for Shantha, submitted that she should be allowed to cast her vote otherwise her entire constituency will go unrepresented in the ensuing Presidential election.

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