SC stays HC proceedings on plea challenging Kanimozhi's election in LS polls

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday stayed the Madras High Court proceedings on a petition challenging the election of DMK leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi from Thoothukudi constituency in Tamil Nadu.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of the submissions of the DMK leader's lawyer and stayed the high court proceedings.

'Having heard counsel appearing for the parties, we direct that until further orders, the operation of impugned judgment and order dated November 19, 2019 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras in Original Application Election Petition No.3 of 2019 and the further proceedings in Election Petition shall remain stayed,' said the bench which comprised Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.

The bench has now posted the plea filed by the DMK leader against the high court order for further hearing after four weeks.

Kanimozhi contested from the Thoothukudi constituency in 2019 and her election was challenged by a voter, A Sanathana Kumar, on the grounds that she failed to mention her husband's Permanent Account Number (PAN) in her election affidavit disclosing family assets.

The Madras High Court had earlier rejected the plea of Kanimozhi seeking dismissal of two election petitions filed by the voter and a BJP leader separately challenging her election to the Lok Sabha.

The election petition should necessarily be taken to its logical end, it had said.

While dismissing Kanimozhi's plea, the high court had said that the election petitioner must be given a chance to marshal evidence to prove his claim of improper acceptance of nomination.

The DMK leader had said her husband was an NRI living in Singapore and he neither possessed a PAN card nor does he pay any income tax in India.

Kanimozhi had defeated her nearest rival Tamilisai Soundararajan (now Governor of Telangana) of BJP.

Another plea challenging the election of Kanimozhi was filed by Soundararajan, who withdrew the plea after becoming Governor of Telangana.

A Muthuramalingam, a local BJP leader, has substituted Soundararajan as a party in the high court. PTI SJK RKS SA