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AAP seeks forgery case against Cong's Surat candidate

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
April 24, 2024 22:51 IST
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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Gujarat on Wednesday urged poll authorities to register a case against Nilesh Kumbhani, whose nomination form as a Congress candidate for the Surat Lok Sabha constituency was rejected recently over alleged discrepancies in the signatures of proposers that ultimately led to the Bharatiya Janata Party winning the seat unopposed.

IMAGE: Nilesh Kumbhani. Photograph: Courtesy @INCGujarat/X

AAP leader and party's Surat Lok Sabha president Rajnikant Vaghani demanded that either Kumbhani be booked on the charges of forgery or his proposers be booked for giving false declaration on oath.

Both AAP and Congress are the constituents of opposition's Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

As per the seat-sharing agreement, the AAP did not field a candidate in Surat.


In a letter addressed to Surat Collector and District Election Officer Sourabh Pardhi on Wednesday, Vaghani cited Pardhi's April 21 order, in which, he had rejected Kumbhani's nomination saying there was discrepancy in the signatures of the proposers in the form and they did not appear to be genuine.

The nomination form of Suresh Padsala, the Congress' substitute candidate from Surat, was also invalidated on the same ground, pushing Gujarat's principal opposition party out of the poll fray in the city.

The proposers, three who signed Kumbhani's form and one of Padsala, in their affidavits to the Collector, stated that they had not signed the forms themselves.

According to Vaghani, either Kumbhani had forged the signatures of his proposers in the nomination form, or the proposers had 'made fun of democracy' by submitting a false affidavit afterwards to claim that the signatures on Kumbhani's nomination papers were not theirs.

'If Kumbhani has forged the signatures of his proposers, then he should be booked on the charges of forgery and for making a false document under sections 464, 465 and 568 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). If the proposers are lying in their affidavits, then they should be booked under sections 191, 192 and 200 of the IPC,' Vaghani's letter said.

Section 191 deals with punishment for making a false statement despite being legally bound by an oath or by an express provision of law to state the truth.

Section 192 is about fabricating false evidence and section 200 deals with punishment for using false or fabricated evidence as true.

Vaghani urged Pardhi to take strict action and register a first information report (FIR) against the culprits because the offence took place before him while filing the nomination papers.

'Both the offences are serious because people will lose their trust in the election process due to such acts. It is important to take a strict stand in such cases. Since you yourself had admitted that signatures were not genuine, it is your legal and constitutional duty to lodge an FIR against culprits for indulging in such a criminal act,' Vaghani said.

Pardhi was not available for his comments when contacted.

The AAP leader sent similar letters to general observer Deepak Anand and police observer for Surat Lok Sabha seat, Soumya Sambasivan.

Kumbhani had served as a Congress corporator in the Surat Municipal Corporation. He unsuccessfully fought the 2022 assembly polls as the party candidate from Kamrej seat in Surat.

On April 21, his nomination form was rejected after his three proposers submitted affidavits to the district returning officer claiming that the signatures on the form were not theirs.

The nomination form of Suresh Padsala, the Congress' substitute candidate, was also invalidated on the same grounds.

In his order, returning officer Pardhi said the forms of Kumbhani and Padsala were rejected after it was found, prima facie, that signatures of the proposers were not genuine.

On April 22, the last day to withdraw the nominations, the BJP's Mukesh Dalal was declared elected unopposed from Surat after all other candidates, including that of the BSP, withdrew their nominations.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024