Gauhati HC declares Karikho Kri’s election as Tezu MLA “void”

ITANAGAR, Jul 18: In a significant judgment, the Gauhati High Court, Itanagar Permanent Bench has declared the election of MLA Karikho Kri to the State Legislative Assembly from 44-Tezu (ST) Legislative Assembly Constituency as “void”.

The judgment (a copy of which is available with this portal) was declared on July 17, 2023 by the court of Judge N. Tagia on the basis of an election petition No. 1(AP)/2019 lodged by Nuney Tayang, who was the Indian national Congress (INC) candidate of the State Assembly election, held in 2019.

Tezu went to polls on April 11, 2019 and the election results were declared on May 23, 2019.

Independent candidate Karikho Kri won the Tezu Assembly seat by defeating Dr. Mohesh Chai of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with a margin of 155 votes while Tayang remained in the third place.

SK Deori, counsel for the election petitioner (Nuney Tayang) at Gauhati High Court, Itanagar Permanent Bench, on Tuesday intimated the Speaker of the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly regarding the judgment of the High Court and sought necessary action as per the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

While submitting a certified copy of the judgment and order, dated July 17, 2023, signed by Sudip Chakraborty, Administrative Officer (Judicial), Gauhati HC, Itanagar Permanent Bench and passed by the High Court in election petition No.1 (AP)/2019 (Nuney Tayang Vs Karikho Kri & others), the election of the return candidate Karikho Kri of 44 Tezu (ST) Legislative Assembly Constituency was “declared void under section 100(1)(b), 100(I)(a)(I) and (IV) of the Representative of the People Act,1951”.

The petitioner in his petition highlighted that Kri made “purported statements” and “false declaration” in his affidavit (in form 26), on March 22, 2019 stating that he did not make disclosure of the vehicles owned by him and his family members and the assets of his family. As per the petition, Kri also did not make disclosure of the availing of government accommodation during ten years and did not submit non-dues certificate towards rent, electricity charges, water charges and telephone charges in respect of government accommodation availed during the last ten years.

The High Court in the order said: “Thus, from a thorough consideration of the entire matter, the Court is of the considered opinion that in the present case, the respondent No. 1 (Karikho Kri) had not presented his nomination paper in accordance with Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and, as such, the nomination paper of the respondent No. 1 is liable to be rejected under Section 36(2)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”

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