Congress MP Ahmed Patel. (Express photo by Renuka Puri/File)
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat High Court not to proceed with a petition filed by BJP leader Balwantsingh Rajput, challenging senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s election to the Rajya Sabha, after framing of issues in the case.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also issued a notice to Rajput on Patel’s plea, seeking a stay on the proceedings in the petition pending before it.
The bench granted two weeks to Rajput to file his reply to the petition. It also granted two weeks thereafter to Patel to file his rejoinder and ordered that the plea would be heard after completion of the pleadings.
Patel in his petition contended that the plea before the High Court was not maintainable and should be dismissed. “The election petition filed in the High Court cannot challenge the order of the Election Commission. This petition is not maintainable and should be dismissed,” he contended.
Patel was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year after defeating Rajput, who had resigned from the Congress to join the BJP.
The win became possible as the Election Commission cancelled the votes of rebel Congress MLAs, Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel, bringing down the number of votes required for a majority.
Rajput had moved the High Court against the EC decision to invalidate the votes of the two rebel MLAs. Patel sought dismissal of Rajput’s plea, saying he was not served an attested copy of the petition. The High Court rejected this.