The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's disqualification as an MLC on the ground that he had allegedly suppressed the fact that a murder case was pending against him from the poll panel.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra considered the chief minister's submission that he had disclosed the fact about the pendency of the criminal case to the Election Commission in 2012.
"We do not find any merit in the petition. It is dismissed," said the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.
"Election Rules say that he (Nitish) should declare it after the trial court takes cognisance of the case," the bench said, adding that it has been done.
The chief minister's counsel informed the court that the trial has been stayed by the Patna High Court. Moreover, no illegalities have been committed by the chief minister, the counsel said.
The PIL, filed by advocate M L Sharma, had alleged that there was a criminal case against the JD(U) leader in which he was accused of killing a local Congress leader Sitaram Singh and injuring four others ahead of the Lok Sabha by-election from Bihar's Barh constituency in 1991.
The lawyer has sought cancellation of Kumar's membership of the state Legislative Council in accordance with the Election Commission's 2002 order that it was mandatory for candidates to disclose criminal cases against them in their affidavits annexed to the nomination papers.
He claimed that the Bihar chief minister did not disclose the criminal case pending against him in affidavits since 2004, except for 2012.