A writ petition has been filed by Aam Aadmi Praty (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha in the Delhi High Court challenging the returning officer's decision to accept the nomination papers of BJP candidate Ramesh Bidhuri despite concealment of important facts. Early in the week, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party had raised objections over "shortcomings" in Bidhuri's documents but the South Delhi returning officer rejected the complaint, saying the nomination paper has been "examined and accepted". Both Chadha and Birudhi are contesting Lok Sabha polls from the South Delhi constituency.
The AAP, in a statement, also listed some of the grounds on which it has challenged Bidhuri's nomination from the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat, which is scheduled to go to polls in the sixth phase of general elections on May 12.
"The BJP candidate has failed to declare in particulars of pending criminal proceedings, particularly CC No. 303/2018 filed in P. S. Kazimahammadpur, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, under Sections 504, 506, 153 and 153(a) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860," it said.
A writ petition has been filed by AAP's South Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Raghav Chadha (in pic) challenging the decision of the Returning Officer in which nomination papers of BJP candidate Ramesh Bidhuri were wrongly accepted despite concealment of important facts. pic.twitter.com/Rzu423O2XS— ANI (@ANI) April 27, 2019
Bidhuri also failed to disclose particulars of LIC policy for sum assured of Rs 1,00,000 with premium of Rs 2,829 half yearly, though the same was disclosed in the Form 26 Declaration in 2014, the party claimed.
The candidate has intentionally left blank paragraph 6A, despite being required to fill up. In Paragraph No. 4 in respect of his income tax return, the candidate has disclosed a false total income of Rs 8,79,150 for the year 2013-14 as opposed to the amount of Rs 6,16,995 demonstrated by his Form 26 Declaration for the year 2014, the AAP said.
"In Paragraph No, 4 in respect of his spouse's income tax return, the candidate has disclosed a false total income of Rs 1,68,000 for the year 2013-14 as opposed to the NIL income demonstrated in his Form 26 Declaration for the year 2014," the AAP alleged.
Chadha's plea sought direction to call for the records and quash the returning officer's April 24 order, calling it "arbitrary, illegal, unsustainable and ought to be quashed". It also sought direction to the RO to scrutinise the nomination of Bidhuri in accordance with various directions of the Supreme Court.
Backing Chadha's claims, Kejriwal said the charges against Bidhuri are very serious, adding that "he is sure to be disqualified. South Delhi voters should not waste their vote on him".
Reacting to the development, Bidhuri accused the rival party of "engineering a conspiracy against him". "All the facts and papers submitted in my nomination are true. AAP leaders are conspiring against me because they are losing the Lok Sabha elections," the BJP leader said.
"I have earlier fought and won assembly and Lok Sabha elections and nothing wrong was ever found in my nominations. The AAP is running a propaganda against me to distract me from campaigning, but people will give them a befitting reply," he added.
Lok Sabha elections in Delhi is scheduled to be held in a single phase on May 12. The counting of votes will be taken up on May 23.