New Delhi, March 19: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the PIL filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma seeking disqualification of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The petitioner had alleged that Nitish Kumar had concealed in his election affidavit that a criminal case was pending against him. Also Read - 'Poor People Suffering': Tejashwi Yadav Hits Out After Bihar CM's Residence Becomes 'Ventilator-Equipped' Hospital
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra considered the Nitish’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. Also Read - Coronavirus in Bihar Reaches CM Nitish Kumar's Doors as Niece Tests Positive
“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. In the court, Nitish Kumar’s counsel apprised that the trial has been stayed by the Patna High Court. Moreover, no illegalities have been committed by the Bihar CM, the counsel said.
Referring to the Election Commission’s 2002 order which states that it was mandatory for candidates to disclose criminal cases against them in their affidavits annexed to the nomination papers, the petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma had sought cancellation of Kumar’s membership.
He had also claimed, “Except for 2012, Nitish Kumar did not reveal the criminal case pending against him in affidavits since 2004.”
(With agency inputs)