UPA opposes EC on rejecting blank papers

Bhadra Sinha

New Delhi, Aug. 13 -- The Centre on Monday vehemently opposed before the Supreme Court the Election Commission's (EC) suggestion to reject a candidate's blank nomination paper.

The bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai noted "the Centre should not have taken such a stand."

In its plea before the SC, the EC said providing no information or keeping the column blank amounted to suppression of facts and called for rejection of a nomination paper.

EC's submission came during the hearing of a PIL seeking a direction to empower a returning officer to reject a blank nomination paper.

NGO Resurgence India has claimed as per an earlier SC direction candidates have to fill a form giving details such as assets owned by them or criminal cases, if any, pending against them. However, certain candidates were leaving columns blank thereby suppressing facts.

The Centre said right to contest polls was a statutory right and as per the SC's judgment a returning officer could not reject nomination paper.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.