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Arunachal: HC declares BJP MLA’s election void for concealing info

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ITANAGAR, Apr 27 (PTI): The election of Arunachal Pradesh BJP MLA Dasanglu Pul was declared void by the Gauhati High Court for concealing information about her properties in the election affidavit.

The Itanagar bench of the high court declared her election from the Hayuliang assembly seat in Anjaw district as void under the Representation of People Act in an order on April 25.

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Dasanglu Pul (45), the third wife of former chief minister Kalikho Pul, was re-elected from the seat in 2019 after winning it for the first time in a by-election in 2016 following her husband’s death.

Congress candidate Lupalam Kri, who lost to Pul in 2019, had filed a petition in the court, challenging her election.

Hearing the petition, the bench of Justice Nani Tagia observed that “the respondent/returned candidate had not presented her nomination paper in accordance with Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and, as such, the nomination paper of the respondent/returned candidate is liable to be rejected under Section 36 (2) (a)” of the said Act.

“Hence, the improper acceptance of the nomination of the respondent/returned candidate by the returning officer, therefore, has materially affected the result of the election of the respondent/returned candidate,” the court said.

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Kri in his petition had claimed that Pul’s candidature was substantially defective as she did not declare her husband’s four properties in Mumbai and two in Arunachal Pradesh in the affidavit filed by her.

He claimed the returning officer had improperly accepted Pul’s candidature despite a written complaint against her.

The BJP MLA submitted to the court that in view of the legal heir certificate, Kalikho Pul’s first wife Dangwimsai Pul is the owner of his properties.

Due to this, she did not mention any of those properties in the election affidavit, she told the court.

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Pul later told reporters that she would be challenging the high court order in the Supreme Court.

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