In a major setback to the Bellary faction of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Karnataka high court on Monday set aside the election of member of Parliament J Shantha.
Justice H Billappa observed that there was irregularity in the counting process and set aside the election.
Justice H Billappa set aside the election on a petition filed by Congress worker M Chandregowda, seeking her disqualification on the grounds that irregularities were committed during the counting of votes.
Observing that her election had "materially affected" the result of the election, the court ordered re-counting to be completed within four weeks from Monday.
Chandregowda in his petition had also charged Shantha of producing a false caste certificate. He had submitted that Shantha who actually belonged to the Boya community, which comes under backward community in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, had submitted a caste certificate, which says she belongs to the Hindu Valmiki community, which is a Scheduled Tribe since Bellary is a reserved constituency for Scheduled Tribes.
However, this ground of the petitioner was not considered by the court.
Shantha, who defeated N Y Hanumanthappa of Congress in the election, is the sister for former Karnataka minister B Sreeramulu, who has floated his own party Badavara Shramikara and Raithara.
The court also stated that recounting will be held in four weeks.
Shantha was elected from the Bellary Parliamentary constituency on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. A petition filed against her alleged manipulation while counting votes.
With inputs from PTI