Notice on Ponnala plea against HC order

New Delhi, July 31: The Supreme Court has issued notice on a petition filed by Ponnala Lakshmaiah, minister and MLA from Jangaon Assembly constituency challenging the order of the High Court dismissing his application wherein he sought dismissal of the election petition filed challenging his election.

A Bench comprising Justice J M Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra issued directions in this regard after counsel for the petitioner submitted that the High Court had dismissed the petitioner’s application without going into the merits.

The allegations made against the p e t i t i o n e r by Kommuri Pratap Reddy, a Telangana Rashtra Samithi candidate are that Ponnala Lakshmaiah won by a narrow margin of 44 votes in the 2009 elections to the Assembly.

He was afraid that he would be defeated and brought pressure on the Returning Officer and the counting personnel.

The counting, which normally takes four hours, took eight hours in this case. Counting supervisors took signatures of counting agents hurriedly stating that they need to go for the next round of counting and if there are any mistakes, they can be corrected at the Returning Officer’s table. All this, under the influence of the petitioner, according to the petition filed in the High Court.

The petitioner averred whether the election petition is maintainable despite non-compliance with the provisions of Section 83 (1) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, rule 94 A and form 25 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.