The State Election Commission today faced the ire of a court here for not filing reply on an AAP leader’s plea challenging the election of a BJP candidate from a south Delhi ward in recent MCD polls, saying a “strict time table” needs to be followed in the matter. “We need a time table and need to strictly stick to it,” District and Sessions Judge Asha Menon said while granting time to the poll panel and the counsel for BJP’s Anita Tawar, who won from ward 70-S in Chhatarpur, to file reply by July 6.
During the proceedings, the state poll panel and Tawar sought time to respond on the petition of AAP leader Pinky Tyagi, who lost to the BJP candidate by two votes, on the grounds that they are in the process of filing a reply on petitioner’s application for modification in the plea. Senior advocate Vivek Sood, appearing for Tyagi, however, sought that the proceedings be expedited as Tyagi has lost by only two votes. The court had earlier declined to restrain the BJP candidate from taking oath as a councillor, saying there was no prima facie case against her victory. It had said that taking of oath would not cause any irreparable loss and injury to the AAP candidate and she would have full opportunity to establish her case.
It had said the issues raised in the petition, including multiplicity in voter list and casting of votes through postal ballots, required inquiry. Earlier, the court had directed the State Election Commission to keep the EVM machines used in a south Delhi ward in the recent MCD polls intact and in sealed condition on the plea filed by Tyagi, who had bagged 8,413 votes, while Tanwar had received 8,415. The plea alleged that the BJP candidate filed her nominations after the deadline of 6 pm on April 3, which was denied by the poll panel claiming it was filed five minutes before time.