Gujarat HC Declines Urgent Hearing on PIL Challenging BJP’s Candidate Uncontested Win


The Gujarat High Court declined an urgent hearing for a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the uncontested victory of BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal from the Surat Lok Sabha constituency.

A division bench consisting of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P Mayee advised the petitioner’s lawyer that he should have filed an election petition instead of a PIL.


Petitioner Bhavesh Patel requested an urgent hearing, arguing that as a registered voter in Surat, the Election Commission’s certificate of election declaring Dalal as the winner without polling deprived him of the option of negative voting.

Chief Justice Agarwal remarked, ”If a candidate is elected uncontested, he is in the same position as a winning candidate declared after polling and vote counting. He does not fall into any other category, and there is no provision in the Representation of the People Act to treat him differently. This shouldn’t be a PIL issue.”

According to the law, disputes regarding a candidate’s election must be addressed through an election petition, she explained.

”You are highlighting a flaw in the procedure for declaring a winning candidate. Is this your argument? This argument falls within the jurisdiction of an authority via an election petition,” the chief justice added.

‘Wrong Forum’

She indicated that she would address the matter in due course, stating there was no urgency as the petitioner had approached the wrong forum.

Furthermore, the chief justice disapproved of the lawyer seeking an urgent hearing with folded hands.

”Advocates are not expected to fold their hands in court; they are meant to advocate for the party’s rights. If you are representing someone, you should never fold your hands,” she emphasized.

Dalal was declared the winner on the final date of withdrawal of nominations after the nomination form of Congress’ Nilesh Kumbhani was rejected on technical grounds, and other candidates withdrew from the race.

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