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The Delhi High Court today issued notice in an appeal against the dismissal of a plea challenging the rejection of nomination papers of 11 candidates desirous of fighting polls against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Notice to the Election Commission was issued by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar in the Letters Patent Appeal preferred by the candidates (appellants).
Before the Single Judge Bench, the appellants had argued that the Returning Officer had wrongly rejected their nomination papers and also showed preference to the Delhi Chief Minister when he arrived at the Election Office to file his nomination.
The Single Judge had, however, concluded that the petition under Article 226 was not maintainable in view of the embargo on Court's jurisdiction under Art 329(b) of the Constitution of India and Section 100 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
It was concluded that filing of an Election Petition after the election process was over was the appropriate remedy. Aggrieved by the dismissal, the appellants moved the Division Bench for relief.
The appellants have argued that the Election Commission and its officers are 'constitutional bodies' and are solely responsible for holding ‘free, fair and transparent’ elections. However, in case of the appellants, they "wrongly, arbitrarily and unconstitutionally" denied accepting their nomination papers.
It is alleged that the Returning Officer rejected the nomination on flimsy grounds, in a very mechanical and casual manner. The appellants have argued that the Single Judge failed to appreciate the gravity and the seriousness of the whole matter, which is of great public importance.
The appellants are represented by Advocate Viplav Sharma. The Election Commission is represented by Advocate Sidhant Kumar.
The matter will be next heard on February 6.