The Madras high court on Thursday dismissed a petition by an independent candidate challenging the election of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa from R K Nagar assembly constituency in Chennai in a by-election last year.
Petitioner T Suresh challenged the election of Jayalalithaa in the June 27, 2015 bypoll, contending that his nomination papers were wrongly rejected by the returning officer.
His nomination papers were rejected on the ground that one of the proposer’s names was not found in the electoral rolls. He sought declaration of the rejection of his nomination papers as illegal and election of Jayalalithaa as null and void.
Dismissing the petition, Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayanan concurred with the submissions made by counsel for Jayalalitha and said, “Once electoral rolls are published and the election is declared on the basis of the same, it is not open to challenge the election on the ground that the electoral rolls were defective.”
The finality of the electoral rolls cannot be assailed in proceedings challenging the validity of the election which is held on the basis of the electoral rolls, the judge said.
He also held that the nomination papers filed by the petitioner were not valid and the defect pointed out by the returning officer was substantial and cannot be cured.
Jayalalithaa had contested and won the by-election to the previous assembly in the aftermath of her acquittal by the Karnataka high court in a disproportionate wealth case.