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SC declines to stay Gujarat HC order disqualifying BJP leader


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to grant any relief to Pabubha Manek, a senior Gujarat BJP leader, who was disqualified as MLA from Dwarka constituency by the Gujarat High Court last year.

A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, M.R. Shah and A.S. Bopanna dismissed the application filed by Manek in his pending petition seeking stay on the High Court order.

Manek moved the apex court challenging the High Court order and sought a stay on it, as he intended to contest the Rajya Sabha polls slated later this month. Manek's counsel contended before the bench that if the High Court order is not stayed, then he may not be able to contest the Rajya Sabha polls, and insisted on staying the order till the disposal of the pending petition.

In April last year, the apex court had directed that Dwarka Assembly seat should not be declared vacant and admitted Manek's plea challenging his disqualification. But, the top court did not stay the April 12 High Court order, which set aside Manek's election for submitting a defective nomination form and ordered a by-election for the seat.

Congress candidate Meramanbhai Goria had moved the High Court challenging Manek's victory from the Dwarka Assembly constituency in 2017. Goria argued that Manek had submitted a defective nomination; as a result his election should be set aside. Goria claimed the nomination form did not have any mention about the name and number of the constituency, which was '82-Dwarka'. Manek is a seven-time MLA from the constituency.

"Defect of substantial character as contemplated under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951", observed the High Court. However, the High Court did not accept Goria's prayer that he should be declared the winner, as he had received the second highest votes in the election.

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