A Delhi court on Wednesday asked Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) East Delhi Lok Sabha candidate Atishi to explain her locus standi in filing a criminal complaint against Gautam Gambhir, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee for the seat, for holding two voter ID cards.
Metropolitan Magistrate Viplav Dabas asked Atishi to satisfy her locus standi, procedure and maintainability of the complaint and file other necessary documents till May 6, the date fixed for hearing.
Atishi’s lawyer Karuna Nandy told the court at this stage, she wanted investigation into the offence. The counsel also submitted that she was not challenging Gambhir’s candidacy right now, but might do so later.
The court also asked her as to why she approached the court instead of filing her complaint before the Election Commission. Atishi’s counsel responded that Gambhir possessed two voter ID cards, which was an offence and that’s why she approached the court.
Atishi has filed the complaint under Section 155(2) at the Tis Hazari Court, seeking direction for police investigation into offences punishable under Sections 17 and 31 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
“As per Section 17 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, no person is entitled to be enrolled as a voter in more than one constituency. Section 31 makes false declaration in the matter of inclusion or exclusion of voter rolls punishable with up to one year in prison,” she said.
Atishi also said Gambhir had stated in his affidavit, submitted to the Returning Officer at the time of nomination, that he was only registered to vote in the Assembly constituency Rajinder Nagar-39, Part No 43, Serial No 285, EPIC No SMM1357243.
“However, it was discovered after the scrutiny period had concluded that Gambhir was also registered to vote in Assembly Constituency Karol Bagh-23, Part No 86, Serial No 87, EPIC No RJN1616218,” she said.
“This fact was also deliberately and wilfully concealed by Gambhir during the time of filing and scrutiny of his nomination, as witnessed by the Returning Officer, presumably to avoid rejection of his nomination,” the AAP leader said.
The concealment of information provided in an election affidavit is also punishable under Section 125A of the said Act, with up to six months in jail, she added.
Gambhir’s nomination was held up due to objections raised by the AAP candidate due to technical errors in the affidavit.
Delhi will go to polls on May 12.