PIL Seeking Disqualification of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Dismissed by SC

The Supreme court on 19th March, 2018 dismissed a PIL seeking disqualification of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for “not disclosing” an FIR against him in a murder case in pre-nomination affidavits.
Dismissing the writ petition the bench of Hon’ble CJI Dipak Mishra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said they did not find any merit in the writ petition and hence dismissed it. The petition filed by advocate Manohar Lal Sharma was dismissed by the Supreme Court after hearing the lawyers representing Election Commission where they said “The petitioner is saying that Nitish Kumar suppressed the fact of FIR in 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2015. Cognizance of the FIR was taken by the court only on August 31, 2009. And it is only after cognizance is taken he needs to declare such charges. So charges of suppression in 2005, 2006 cannot stand and as the petitioner divulged the FIR, so the petition ought to have been dismissed. The lawyer representing the Election Commission was able to able to corroborate his submission through evidences and documents on record, and hence was able to convince the court.
Election commission also submitted that the petition was not maintainable as Manohar Lal Sharma did not avail the specific statutory remedy provided under section 125A of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 and rather approached the Election Commission directly. It was further submitted that the petitioner did not avail the specific remedy provided under section 125A of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951 wilfully and deliberately hence making the petition not maintainable.
Section 125A says that ‘if any voter spots any discrepancy or falsehood in the details provided by any candidate he has the option to file a complaint or FIR against the concerned candidate.
The affidavit filed by Election Commission stated that ‘ECI is not an investigating agency or authority and does not either possess the means or is responsible for conducting an inquiry in order to ascertain if the disclosures made by a particular candidate are true and correct. Furthermore, even the documents provided by the petitioner did not disclose any cause of action for the ECI to proceed against Nitish Kumar.’
It was further submitted that the relief prayed for clearly revealed that no fundamental rights of the Petitioner or of the citizens of the country have been violated in any manner whatsoever thereby requiring the interference by the Supreme Court and neither was the petition filed in any public interest and hence the writ petition filed before the apex court was not maintainable.
Generally extraordinary original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is only enforced where the enforcement of any fundamental right is concerened, but the present case does not require any such enforcement.
It was further submitted that Nitish had disclosed the fact in 2012 and interestingly he did not contest the 2015 Assembly Elections so there was no reason for filing this petition.
Petitioner in the petition had alleged that Nitish Kumar had never opted for bail in the non-bailable offence since 1991 and misused his power in getting the police to file a closure report after 17 years, but the court refused to go into the same.


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