In a strange twist, the Madras High Court on Friday set aside victory of AIADMK candidate A K Bose( since dead) in the by-election the Tamil Nadu Assembly from Tiruparankumdram in November 2016 . At the same time, the court also rejected the plea of defeated DMK candidate Saravanan to declare him winner.
Partially allowing the petition filed by Saravan, Justice A Velmurugan set aside the election on the ground that the then AIADMK leader J Jayalalitha , who was in Apollo Hospitals, was not conscious when she affixed the thumb impression on the Form A and B certifying Bose as the official candidate.
It also ruled that the Election Commission has no power to allow nominations bearing the thumb impression of the party leader. The judge said once the election was set aside, the seat would be deemed to have fallen vacant and the runner-up, therefore could not be declared winner.
Saravanan contended that if the Election Commission had rejected the nomination of Bose, he would have won. Instead, it allowed the nomination,thus enabling Bose to use the Two Leaves symbol.
Jayalalitha was battling for life in Apollo Hospital when the by-election was held in November 2016. In fact, she died one month later. By a twist of fate, Bose also died on Aug 2, 2018.
The by-election was kept on hold by the Election Commission on the ground that Saravanan's petition was pending in court, though he offered to withdraw it.
Now that the seat is deemed to have fallen vacant by the high court, the Election Commission will have to call for fresh nominations whenever it deems fit to hold the by-election along with 18 other bypolls to fill vacancies in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
18 vacancies arose following disqualification of pro-Dinakaran legislators by the Speaker.