High Court election of AIADMK MLA invalid

The Madras High Court on Friday set aside the election of A K Bose (since deceased) of the AIADMK from the Tirupparankundram Assembly constituency in a bypoll conducted in November 2016, when Jayalalithaa was hospitalised. It held that two top Election Commission (EC) officials had “played a fraud in connivance with the ruling party” by accepting the AIADMK supremo’s thumb impression on the candidate’s nomination papers.

Justice P Velmurugan gave the verdict allowing the election petition filed by P Saravanan, the losing DMK candidate in Thiruparankundram constituency. He had challenged the victory of Bose in the November 2016 assembly by-poll on the ground that the thumb impression of Jayalalithaa was not genuine. At the time of filing of the nomination papers for the by-poll, Jayalaithaa, also chief minister of Tamil Nadu, was hospitalised for various complications. She died in December, 2016. Quoting Supreme Court judgments and provisions of the Representation of People Act, the judge said affixing the thumb impression in Form A and B (by which a party authorises the candidature of its nominee) was generally not permissible under law.

The court declared Bose's election as void as there was no proof that Jayalalithaa was in a conscious mind to affix her thumb impression. In September 2016, Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospital. In October, she had an inflamed right hand as she had undergone tracheostomy and had to affix her left thumb impression in the documents submitted by the AIADMK candidate.