The Supreme Court on Thursday began hearing former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma’s plea challenging the election of Pranab Mukherjee as President. A constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir posted the matter for further consideration on November 20 when it will give a chance to various parties for raising preliminary arguments on maintainability of the issue before issuing notice in the matter.
During the preliminary hearing, Sangma will argue to show there was a “cause of action” for filing the petition.
After the preliminary hearing on maintainability, the bench also comprising justices P Sathasivam, SS Nijjar, J Chelameswar and Ranjan Gogoi will decide whether the matter is fit for the regular hearing.
While senior advocate Ram Jethmalani appeared for Sangma, the President was represented by senior advocate Harish Salve.
Attorney General GE Vahanvati was assisting the court as a necessary party under the Supreme Court Rules in such matters.
In his petition, Sangma has said the veteran Congress leader was not eligible for the post as he was holding offices of profit on the date of filing nomination for the President’s election.
Sangma has contended that Mukherjee was holding offices of profit as chairman of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata and as also the leader of the Congress Party in Lok Sabha when he had entered the Presidential race.
The tribal leader from Meghalaya, who had lost the Presidential poll, has sought a direction for setting aside Mukherjee’s election as President and declaring him as elected to the post.