Supreme Court Denies Varanasi Nomination Extension: Publicity Plea Dismissed

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The Supreme Court of India has declined to consider a writ petition requesting an extension of the nomination filing deadline for contesting the election in the Varanasi Constituency.

Demands of the Petition

Tamil Nadu-based farmers’ leader P Ayyakannu, through his Public Interest Litigation, sought relief by requesting an extension of time to file his nomination. Additionally, his Counsel urged the Supreme Court to direct the Election Commission of India to permit the petitioner to submit an ‘e-file’ nomination.

Publicity Stunt

The court dismissed the public interest litigation, labeling it as a mere attempt for publicity. Justice Nath initially offered the option for the Counsel to withdraw the petition, suggesting that the petitioner’s primary aim seemed to be garnering attention. He remarked, “You want to withdraw, we can allow you to withdraw, you want to dismiss, we can dismiss it…..these are all Publicity Interest Litigation…total publicity. If we start commenting in the order then it will be difficult for you.”

Court’s Orders

Justice Nath questioned why the petitioner, a farmers’ leader from Tamil Nadu, aimed to contest elections in Varanasi when he had no record of engagement in social work within that constituency. The bench of Justices Vikram Nath and SC Sharma questioned the rationale behind the farmers’ leader, who had dedicated decades to serving the people in the South, suddenly deciding to contest elections from Varanasi. Justice Nath remarked, “You have been working for 30 years in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, why do you want to contest from Varanasi that too on the last day you want to come here?”

The bench, however, dismissed the plea and added that the purpose behind filing the petition has already been fulfilled as it garnered attention in the media, and today’s proceedings will also be covered in the news.

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About the Author: Hemansh Tandon