PIL in HC seeks rejection of Rajeev Chandrasekhar's nomination

Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: When only four days are left for the Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, a Public Interest Litigation petition has been moved before the Kerala High Court seeking rejection of NDA candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar's nomination. The union minister is contesting against UDF's sitting MP Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat.

The petition filed by Congress leader Avani Bansal, a Supreme Court lawyer and Bengaluru resident Renjith Thomas alleged that the NDA candidate filed a false affidavit declaring his assets before the Election Commission by violating the relevant provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and Conduct of Election Rules, 1961. They claimed that the BJP leader had committed a similar offence in the 2018 Rajya Sabha elections too. The PIL reiterated the allegations against Chandrasekhar over hiding his assets in the affidavit attached to his nomination.

“ Total movable assets declared by him are 9 crore 25 lakh (approx). This is factually wrong since 'details of investment in bonds, debentures/shares and units in companies/mutual funds, and others' is Rs 45 crores (approx) but this has not been added to the gross total value. He has not disclosed his major holding company - Jupiter Capital and has only declared subsidiary companies to hide the complex web of companies used to hide his true assets,” reads the petition. 

Avani and Renjith had filed a complaint in this regard before the returning officer in Thiruvananthapuram along with prima facie evidence to justify the allegations. Criticising the returning officer, they alleged that the official had not provided a reasoned order in response to their complaint. The petitioners urged the High Court to direct the returning officer to pass a reasoned order on their complaints within two days. 

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