HC upholds cancellation of LS poll in Vellore seat by EC

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The Madras High Court on Wednesday upheld the Election Commission’s decision cancelling the election in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore Lok Sabha constituency.

A bench of justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad dismissed petitions filed by AIADMK-led alliance candidate in the constituency, A.C Shanmugham, and an Independent, K. Sugumar, seeking to set aside the order cancelling the election which was slated for Thursday.

The EC had on Tuesday cancelled the polls in Vellore — one of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state — over allegations of excess use of money power.

President Ram Nath Kovind had rescinded the notification to hold election to the seat based on an EC recommendation after “black money” worth Rs 11.53 crore, allegedly linked to DMK candidate Kathir Anand, was seized by the Income Tax Department on the intervening night of March 29-30.

When the petitions were taken up for urgent hearing, the counsel for the EC submitted a report in a sealed cover to the court.

Citing a Supreme Court verdict in its order, the bench said, “Legislatures are no Prophets, but pragmatic. Hence, comprehensive provisions have been made in Art 324 of the Constitution to take care of surprise situations.”

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