Plea in Delhi HC against Chirag Paswan’s Election as Lok Sabha MP

Chirag Paswan

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stated that a challenge to the election of Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) president Chirag Paswan from the Hajipur Lok Sabha seat in Bihar should be addressed in the Patna High Court.

The court scheduled a hearing for the election petition on August 28, 2024.

“How is this maintainable in this high court? The constituency is in the state of Bihar. It is better you withdraw (the plea) and go to the jurisdictional high court,” Justice Vikas Mahajan remarked to the petitioner’s counsel. “This court will not have the jurisdiction,” the judge orally noted during the hearing.

In her plea, the petitioner has alleged that she was a victim of sexual assault at the “insistence” of Prince Raj and his associates, including Chirag Paswan, his cousin. She claimed that Paswan did not disclose this “criminal antecedent” when filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections.

The plea also noted that an FIR was registered in 2021 related to the alleged sexual assault and argued that filing a false affidavit or concealing information about criminal cases in the affidavit violates Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act, which is punishable with six months imprisonment. Advocate Sidhant Kumar, representing the Election Commission (EC), argued that the election petition was not maintainable in Delhi under the Representation of the People Act, as the election occurred in Bihar.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, further contended that, according to the law, only a voter from the constituency or a candidate can file an election petition to challenge an election, and the petitioner did not fall into either category.

“The Act is clear. Her locus is in question. You have to be a voter in the constituency or a candidate…. Merit will come later; first, the petitioner has to overcome this hurdle,” he argued.

The petitioner’s counsel requested time from the court to address the issue of the court’s jurisdiction on the next date of hearing.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte