GUWAHATI: In a significant judgement, the Supreme Court has overruled the Gauhati High Court’s decision and reaffirmed the 2019 election of BJP MLA Dasanglu Pul to the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly. The hearing on Thursday was presided over by a bench consisting of Justices AS Bopanna and PS Narasimha.
In its verdict, the court acknowledged the rightful issuance of the legal heir certificate to the first wife.
“Therefore, neither as on the date of the death of the spouse nor on the date of filing the nomination for the election at the first instance in the year 2016 or at the point when the nomination was filed on 22.03.2019, the property left behind by the deceased was claimed by the appellant”, the bench stated.
Dasanglu Pul, the widow of the late Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, had secured her victory from the Hayuliang Assembly constituency in 2019. However, her election victory was subsequently challenged by her opponent, Lupalam Kri. Kri contested that Pul failed to disclose properties of her late husband in the election nomination form, a pivotal requirement as per election guidelines.
Consequently, the Gauhati High Court invalidated Pul’s election, citing discrepancies in her nomination papers. The verdict was grounded on the premise that her papers were not compliant with Section 33 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Addressing this contention, the Supreme Court deemed Pul’s election legitimate and dismissed the election petition filed against her. In an earlier interim order issued in May, the apex court directed that no bye-election should be organised in Pul’s constituency while the petition was under consideration. This May order also confirmed that Pul maintained all her privileges as an MLA, including attending house proceedings and Assembly committees.