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HC rejects TMC leader’s plea on Assembly poll result

By Mahesh Limbani May 21, 2022

The Calcutta High Court on Friday rejected the election petition of TMC leader Alorani Sarkar challenging the Bangaon Dakshin Assembly result in the 2021 Assembly elections on the grounds she has dual citizenship and cannot declare herself as Indian as the country’s law does not allow it.

The single bench of Justice Bibek Chaudhuri said Sarkar cannot declare herself as a citizen of this country as she has her name on the voters’ list in Bangladesh.

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Rejecting the petition, Justice Chaudhuri also directed the Election Commission to take necessary actions against the petitioner depending on the current status of her citizenship. The court also directed the Registrar General to send a copy of the order to the EC.

“The court has come to this conclusion that the petitioner filed the election petition claiming to be a citizen of India. She filed nomination papers as a citizen of India. She contested the election as a citizen of India. But from the documents filed and relied on by the petitioner in her affidavit-in-opposition, it is ascertained that in the month of June 2021, her application for deletion of her name from the electoral roll of Bangladesh was under consideration before the appropriate authority of the Election Commission of Bangladesh. Thus, her name was not deleted till 29th June 2021 from NID and Electoral Roll of Bangladesh. The record shows that the petitioner filed nomination to contest the State Assembly seat of 96-Bangaon Dakshin of SC(Constituency) on 31st March 2021. The election was conducted on 22nd April 2021 and the result was published on 2nd May 2021. The election petition was filed on 11th June 2021. Therefore, admittedly on all the above dates, the name of the petitioner appeared on in the Electoral Roll of Bangladesh,” reads the court order.

After losing the Bangaon Dakshin Assembly seat to BJP’s Swapan Majumdar by a margin of 2,004 votes, Sarkar had filed an election petition challenging the poll result before the Calcutta High Court.

The court said, “I am in agreement with the learned advocate for the respondent that the principle of ‘Dual Citizenship’ is not applicable in India. Therefore, the petitioner cannot claim to be a citizen of India when her name appeared on the Electoral Roll of Bangladesh. The relevant date is the date of filing the nomination paper by the petitioner. It is admitted from the documents filed by the petitioner that on the date of filing of the nomination paper by her she was a Bangladeshi national.”

The court order further reads, “In view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, a copy of this order be sent to the Election Commission of India for information and taking necessary action in respect of the petitioner’s status in this country as on this date through the learned Registrar General, High Court, Calcutta.”

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