11 moves HC, seeks permission to contest in Delhi polls

11 persons move HC for permission to contest in the coming Delhi elections

The Delhi High Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea moved by 11 people, seeking to contest the upcoming assembly elections from the New Delhi seat, whose nomination forms were allegedly not accepted by the returning officer despite them arriving at the election office within the stipulated time.

The petition was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar which agreed to list it for hearing on Tuesday.

The matter was subsequently listed for hearing on Tuesday before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva.

The petition, on behalf of the 11 people, contends that they had arrived at the election office at Jamnagar House here early in the morning on January 20 with their duly-filled forms and required documents.

Since there were several candidates already waiting at the office, the returning officer (RO) issued them tokens and based on their respective token numbers the forms were to be accepted and scrutinised.

However, due to paucity of time, all the people who were issued tokens could not be attended to, the plea said and added that the RO asked the petitioners to come the next day.

The RO also told them their tokens were valid for the next day and their turn would come before that of others, the petition claims.

When the petitioners reached the election office the next day, they found that instead of tokens, names of the applicants were being recorded on a sheet, the petition said and claimed that once Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal arrived there to file his nomination, he was directly taken inside to allegedly facilitate his filing.

Their plea claimed that due to the "wrongful, illegal, arbitrary, unconstitutional and malafide actions/inactions of Respondent 5 (RO), the petitioners were illegally and unconstitutionally deprived of exercising their constitutional right of participating in the democratic process of government formation".

The petitioners have sought directions to the Centre, Election Commission, the Chief Electoral Officer and RO to initiate measures which would help them to file their nomination forms for contesting election from the New Delhi seat against Kejriwal.