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HC rejects plea to bar disqualified MLA from campaign
Tamil Nadu

HC rejects plea to bar disqualified MLA from campaign

S.Murari

The Madras High Court Thursday dismissed a petition seeking to prohibit disqualified AIADMK legislator Balakrishna Reddy from canvassing for his wife Jothi who is the party's candidate for the Hosur Assembly seat.

A division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad dismissed the plea by Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam candidate for the seat, V Pugazhendhi, to restrain Balakrishna Reddy from campaigning .

The judges said no rule or regulation from the Model Code of Conduct had been cited by the petitioner's counsel prohibiting a disqualified MLA from canvassing for a candidate .

The bench said:”The Representation of the People Act 1951 only speaks about the disqualification from contesting an election. In the case on hand, from the photographs produced and perused, we could only deduce that the said Balakrishna Reddy was standing along with the candidate and there is no other concrete material indicating that he was canvassing.”

A special court for cases against MPs and MLAs in Chennai a couple of months ago convicted Reddy in an arson case and sentenced him to three years.  This led to his instant disqualification and consequent resignation from the AIADMK Cabinet.

Pugshendhi contended that Balakrishna Reddy, who cannot contest any election for six years, was posing with his wife Jothi as if he was the AIADMK candidate and campaigning for her.

The  high court held that mere photographs showing Reddy with his wife was no proof that he was campaigning for her.