HC declares PC Thomas election void

New Delhi, Oct 31 | Updated: Nov 1 2006, 05:30am hrs
In a significant ruling, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday declared the election of former Union minister PC Thomas from Muvattupuzha void on grounds that he used his religion to garner votes.

The court also ordered the CPI(M)s PM Ismail, who came second in a close race, be declared the elected representative. The verdict came on a petition filed by Ismail who accused Thomas of violating the RPI act by using his religion to win the election.

Agreeing with the Ismail, the court said, Thomas indulged in corrupt practices under two sections of the Representation of the People Act 123(3)for circulating leaflets/ calendars seeking christian votes and 123(5)using vehicles to transport voters to booths.

The court has given Thomas a months time to file an appeal. and granted a stay on further operations till then.

Responding to the verdict, Thomas said, The points made by the petitioner are baseless. There is no evidence for the allegation that I used my religious background to woo voters.

I will file appeal in the apex court within one month, Thomas told FE.

The petitioner alleged that Thomas circulated a calendar picturing him standing with then Pope John Paul II, during the elections.