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Sacked BSF man’s plea against Modi doesn’t disclose right to sue: SC

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Tuesday said an appellant has to establish the cause of action which invest him the right to sue, as it dismissed the petition by sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur challenging the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said: “We find that the averments in the petition do not disclose that the appellant has a cause of action which invest him with right to sue. It is settled that where a person has no interest at all, or no sufficient interest to support a legal claim or action, he will have no locus standi to sue.”

Tej Bahadur had moved the top court challenging an Allahabad High Court order, which dismissed his election petition against the Prime Minister.

The bench observed that Tej Bahadur’s appeal does not raise any arguable question of fact or law and admitting it would amount to an exercise in futility for the court to do so. It noted that Section 83 of the electoral act allows only an elector (from Varanasi constituency) or candidate to maintain an election petition, and Tej Bahadur was none of these.

“Obviously, the appellant is not an elector registered in the Varanasi constituency since he is admittedly enrolled as an elector of Bhiwani, Mahendragarh Parliamentary Constituency, Haryana. His locus thus depends entirely on the question whether he is a candidate or can claim to be a duly nominated candidate,” it held.

The bench noted that Tej Bahadur’s nomination paper was not accompanied by a certificate to the effect that he had not been dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state. “It is not in dispute that the appellant’s nomination paper was not accompanied by a certificate from the Election Commission, further, he was served a notice to cure the defect. He did not do so,” it said.

The bench observed that it is settled that for a person to make claim that he was duly nominated, his nomination paper must comply with statutory requirements which govern the filing of nomination papers and not otherwise.

Tej Bahadur had filed two nominations, one on April 24 and April 29. One was filed as a Samajwadi Party candidate and the other as an independent candidate. The nominations were found to be invalid by the returning officer because they were not accompanied by a certificate to the effect that he was dismissed for corruption or disloyalty to the state as required by Section 9(2)1 read with Section 33 (3)2 of the Act.

The trooper was sacked from service after he released a video in 2017 complaining about the quality of food served to the force’s personnel.

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