Poll petition: HC imposes Rs 5L cost on Eshwar Khandre

Poll petition: Karnataka HC imposes Rs 5 lakh cost on Eshwar Khandre

Khandre contended that he got to know about the petition only recently through media reports

Karnataka High Court. Credit: DH File Photo

The high court has imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on Congress MLA Eshwar Khandre from Bhalki for non-appearance in the election petition.

Justice Krishna S Dixit ordered Khandre to pay the cost to the Chief Minister’s Covid Care Fund within three weeks and allowed him to participate in the EP as a respondent.  

The petition was filed by D K Siddarama, a candidate who contested the 2018 Assembly elections on a BJP ticket. After Khandre remained unrepresented in the petition, his name was dropped from the petition. Subsequently, Khandre appeared before the court and submitted that he was not aware of the petition because of a health issue with his personal assistant.

The counsel, representing Khandre, said that the personal assistant was suffering from a disease of forgetfulness. The disease got escalated and later diagnosed to be acute encephalopathy and he passed away on October 11. The relevant documents, including the copies of the medical discharge summary, were placed before the court.

Khandre contended that he got to know about the petition only recently through media reports.

“…It may be a bit difficult to assume that nowadays, people's representatives, subject to all just exceptions, invest much time in reading/studies, the priorities of their job arguably being different,” the court said. The court directed Khandre to pay the cost and said it is open to him to file the written statement within six weeks. The court also warned Khandre against seeking an adjournment, except for genuine reasons.