Election Commission of India
Election Commission of India

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to expedite its procedure for deciding on a complaint filed with it by Congress' Abhay Kumar Mishra, seeking disqualification of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Rewa MLA Rajendra Shukla.

Disposing of a petition filed by Mishra in this regard, a bench of Justice Jayant Nath directed the ECI to look into the Congress leader's complaint against Shukla.

Earlier this year, Mishra, who had lost Madhya Pradesh's Rewa seat to Shukla in 2018, had lodged the complaint with the ECI, claiming that the BJP leader had allegedly exceeded the maximum limit of election expenses set during the Assembly polls.

The Election Commission assured the Bench of expediting the procedure for disposing of Mishra's complaint.

Mishra, in his plea filed through advocate Varun K Chopra, had sought directions to the EC to decide on the complaint dated January 17, 2020, in a time-bound manner.

After losing the Rewa election, Mishra had filed the complaint before the Election Commission on January 17, under Section 10A, read with Section 77, of the Representation of People Act, 1951, alleging illegal expenses incurred by Shukla beyond the prescribed limit during the polls.

The elections to the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly was announced in October 2018, whereby the expenditure limit under Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1960, for candidates was notified to be Rs 28 lakh.

During the campaigning phase and thereafter, the respondent, Shukla, spent an unrestrained amount of money on various public meetings and arrangements and therefore, blatantly exceeded the maximum limit on election expenses, the Congress leader said in his plea to the ECI.

On the basis of "pertinent data and information from various sources", the petitioner sought disqualification of Shukla under Section 10A, read with Section 77, of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

However, despite repeated follow-ups and reminders, the respondent (ECI) has not considered and taken up the petitioner's complaint even after eight months have elapsed from the date of filing the complaint, Mishra's advocate told the court.

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