The Allahabad High Court on Monday deferred till Tuesday the pronouncement of verdict on the petition challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in 2014.
Justice Vikram Nath began dictating the orders on Monday on the petition of Congress MLA Ajay Rai, who had unsuccessfully contested from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha polls, but due to paucity of time decided to resume it on Tuesday.
According to Satyapal Jain, Additional Solicitor General of India and the leading counsel appearing on behalf of Modi, “Justice Vikram Nath began dictating orders at about 2 PM by recording arguments and facts presented by both sides”.
“While recording the allegation levelled by the petitioner that Modi had failed to disclose many details in his nomination papers, the court also took note of our rebuttal that writing ‘not known’ against any column did not amount to concealment of facts,” said Jain, who is also a member of BJP national executive and a former Lok Sabha MP from Chandigarh.
“At about 3 PM, the judge had to leave to attend a full court reference which was being held on the retirement of another judge of the High Court. Before departing, he stated that the dictating of orders will resume tomorrow at 2 PM,” Jain said.
Rai has challenged the election of Modi alleging among other things that there were discrepancies in his nomination papers, that the expenses on campaign had exceeded permissible limits and religious sentiments were exploited through slogans like “Har Har Modi”.
The Congress candidate, who had finished third and forfeited his deposit in the electoral battle wherein Modi defeated his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by a margin of 3.
71 lakh votes, had moved the court in June, 2014, less than a month after the result was announced.