SC gives partial relief to Bellary MP Shantha

SC gives partial relief to Bellary MP Shantha

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted reprieve to BJP MP from Bellary Lok Sabha seat J Shantha, who was disqualified by the Karnataka High Court, by allowing her to participate in the Parliamentary proceedings, but did not restore her voting rights as well as entitlement to perks and allowances.

A Bench of Justices H L Gokhale and Ranjana Prakash Desai said she would not be able to exercise her voting rights or can claim her perquisites.

The court admitted her special leave petition challenging the June 11 order of the High Court, which had quashed her election to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) reserved seat due to alleged electoral malpractices.

Advocates Maninder Singh and Balaji Srinivasan, appearing for the petitioner claimed that the High Court set aside her election and directed the recounting of votes in gross violation of law as Congress worker M Chandregouda, who filed the election petition, did not supply any relevant documents.

They pleaded the court to set aside the HC order which was refused by the apex court.

Justice H Billappa of the HC partly allowed the election petition seeking Shantha’s disqualification on the ground that irregularities were committed during the counting of votes in 2009.

The court had directed the returning officer-9 Bellary, to recount the votes and declare the results within four weeks.

Shantha had defeated N Y Hanumanthappa of the Congress.

According to the petitioner, Shantha had produced a false caste certificate. He claimed that Shantha, who belonged to the Boya community which fell under backward community in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, had submitted a caste certificate stating that she belonged to the Valmiki community, which is a Scheduled Tribe, as Bellary is a reserved constituency for the Scheduled Tribes.

Shantha is the sister of former state minister B Sreeramulu, who has floated his own party Badavara Shramikara and Raithara (BSR).

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