The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to the Election Commission and the city government on a petition filed by a practicing woman lawyer seeking direction for the returning officer to accept her nomination form for the Lok Sabha elections.
Supreme Court lawyer Shamshravish Rein approached the court saying she was granted a ticket by Jantantra Party for contesting Lok Sabha election but a policeman, posted outside the office of the returning officer, had not let her filling the nomination.
Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra sought response from the poll panel, the Delhi government, the deputy commissioner of police (east district), and returning officer of East Delhi constituency by March 26.
The plea sought interim direction to the poll panel to accept her nomination form. The court, however, refused her interim relief saying: “I am not inclined to interfere with the electoral process which ex-facie has already commenced. This request, therefore, is declined.”
The plea also sought calling for all the camera records of that day’s events held outside the returning officer’s office from the election commission.
Asking any video to be preserved, the court, in its order, said: “However, in case there is any contemporaneous video recordings carried out by the Election Commission at the office of the returning officer, East Delhi parliamentary constituency, the deputy commissioner office’s, east Delhi… where the candidates were required to file their nominations, be preserved till further order of the court.”
Rein, 27, alleged that March 22 she reached the office of returning officer with her nomination papers by 2.40 p.m., however, a Delhi Police constable at the gate told her that he has written her name down at number 12 in his list and asked her to wait in the waiting hall at least an hour because there were others ahead of her in the queue.
At around 3 p.m. when she asked police to submit her nomination form, the same constable told her that nominations will not be accepted now as the time ended 3 p.m.
The plea said that the act of the returning officer and the police officials is arbitrary, illegal, unconstitutional, ultra vires to the provisions laid down in the constitution and not accepting her nomination form amounts to “infringement of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution of India”.
“Not allowing the petitioner to submit her nomination form because of the returning officers and her staff’s fault will cause irreparable loss to the petitioner as the next Lok Sabha election would be held in 2019,” her plea said.
Her “political career would be damaged and prolonged for next 5 years which would be a huge career loss for her”, she argued.