Free Press Journal

Plea against Bihar CM Nitish Kumar: Supreme Court seeks ECI’s reply in four weeks


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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the Election Commission of India to respond to a plea seeking cancellation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s membership of the state Legislative Council on the ground that he had allegedly concealed information about a pending criminal case against him.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the ECI to file its reply in four weeks.

The top court had earlier asked lawyer M L Sharma, who has filed the PIL in his personal capacity, to furnish a copy of his amended plea to the ECI. It had decided not to issue notice on it for now.

The PIL has alleged that there was a criminal case against the JD(U) leader in which he was accused of killing a local Congress leader Sitaram Singh and injuring four others ahead of the Lok Sabha by-election from Bihar’s Barh constituency in 1991.

The petition has also sought a direction to the CBI to register an FIR against Kumar in the case.

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“Respondent number 2 (poll panel), despite knowing facts about his (Kumar’s) criminal case, did not cancel his membership of the House and respondent (Kumar) still enjoys constitutional office till date,” the plea said.

The lawyer has sought cancellation of Kumar’s membership as per the Election Commission’s 2002 order, stating it was mandatory for candidates to disclose criminal cases against them in their affidavits annexed to the nomination papers.

He claimed that the Bihar chief minister did not disclose the criminal case pending against him in affidavits since 2004, except in 2012.