The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam challenging the election of BJP’s Gopal Shetty in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Nirupam had sought for Shetty’s election from Mumbai North Parliamentary constituency in the 16th Lok Sabha elections held on November 24, 2014 to be declared null and void.
Nirupam had claimed that Shetty had not disclosed information regarding a property owned by the latter and his wife in suburban Borivli in the nomination form and the affidavits.
Shetty had opposed the petition, and said provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 state only about disclosure of criminal cases, and that there is no provision in respect to disclosure of properties or consequences of the failure to disclose the same.
Shetty further claimed that the property in question was no more under his ownership as all the flats in the said building had been sold in 2010 itself.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar on Friday delivered a judgment in the petition and accepted Shetty’s argument.
“I am of the view that in this petition, considering the facts and nature of the property, non-mentioning the said property in the nomination form and in the affidavit as an asset is not a substantive defect,” the court said.
“In the present case, there is no false declaration but there is elimination of details of one property, that is non-disclosure of one property,” Justice Bhatkar said.
The court noted that section 33A of the Act makes it obligatory for candidates to disclose his or her criminal record, pending cases and if he or she has been convicted and the sentence therein.
“There is no such specific provision like section 33A in respect of disclosure of assets. It is mandatory on the part of the candidate to disclose the property and assets as per Form 96 prescribed under the Act,” the order said.
However, there are no specific directions or special provisions like section 33A of the Act, the HC stated while dismissing the petition.