SC asks EC to look into complaint of dismissed BSF jawan
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to examine the complaint of dismissed BSF trooper Tej Bahadur Yadav whose nomination papers to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi were rejected by the poll body.
Yadav wanted to contest the election against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the counsel of the poll body to look into the matter and communicate it to the court on Thursday.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Yadav, brought an earlier order to the court's attention and informed that during the Model Code of Conduct there is no bar on filing election petitions.
Yadav, dismissed from service in 2017 after he posted a video online complaining about the poor quality of food served at his BSF camp, had entered the poll fray as a candidate of the Samajwadi Party from the Varanasi seat.
He alleged that he was deliberately kept out of the contest to ensure an easy win for Modi from Varanasi.
Yadav, in his petition, contended that the Returning Officer "completely failed to appreciate that he had produced the dismissal letter along with his nomination paper".
The dismissal letter indicated the reason for his dismissal from the BSF as alleged indiscipline and there was no evidence of indulging in corruption or any act of disloyalty to the state, the petitioner said.
Yadav has sought the apex court's direction to set aside the Returning Officer's May 1 order pleading that he be allowed to contest the election from Varanasi. The candidature of Yadav was rejected by the Returning Officer on finding fault with his nomination papers.
Yadav's nomination was rejected as he could not bring on record that his dismissal was not on corruption charges or due to any integrity issues.
"It seems the decision was taken keeping in mind the sensitivity of the contest in Varanasi and to give walkover to the candidate (Modi) of the ruling party (BJP) by disqualifying the petitioner," he contended.
Yadav claimed he was a strong candidate against the prime minister and his popularity was "gaining momentum", and added that is why he was supported by the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine in Uttar Pradesh.
Stating that "the mala fide is apparent," Yadav alleged that the Returning Officer had shown haste in deciding on his candidature, adding that the poll official could have at least allowed the Election Commission to respond to his application. IANS