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EC to examine Tej Bahadur's plea against his rejection

Dismissed BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav with supporters after he was fielded as Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samajwadi Party alliance's Varanasi seat candidate for Lok Sabha polls, in Varanasi, Monday, April 29, 2019. Yadav was dismissed in 2017 after he pos

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to go through a petition filed by Tej Bahadur, a dismissed head constable of BSF, challenging cancellation of his nomination papers from Varanasi Parliamentary Constituency, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to retain in general elections 2019.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta put the writ petition filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, for consideration on Thursday.

The court asked Bhushan to hand over a copy of the petition to the EC's counsel Amit Sharma.

Tej Bahadur sought issuance of an order for quashing of May 1 order by Returning Officer, rejecting his nomination paper from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.

He claimed the decision to cancel his nomination “has been taken keeping in mind the sensitivity of the contest in Varanasi Constituency and to give walkover to the candidate of the ruling party by disqualifying the petitioner whose candidature has been gaining momentum and was therefore also supported by the main opposition alliance of two major political parties in the state”.

The head constable was sacked on April 19, 2019. His video complaining about the poor quality of food served during his postings in Kashmir has gone viral on social media, causing huge embarrassment to the government.

Tej Bahadur, who got support from Samajwadi Party as well as BSP, in his petition, claimed that the nomination papers filed on April 29 were rejected on the ground of his failure to furnish a certificate to the effect that he has not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state.

He contended that the Returning Officer acted "unmindfully and insisted" for producing the certificate in terms of Section 9 and Section 33 (3) of the Act of Representation of People Act 1951. The officer failed to appreciate that such certificate was not required, where the person so filing nomination, was not dismissed from service on the ground of corruption and disloyalty.

He said he was dismissed due to indiscipline which was not covered under Section 9 of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and therefore there was no requirement for him to furnish certificate as contemplated under Section 33 (3) of the Act of 1951.

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