Karuna Challenges Summons Issued by Magistrate

Karuna Challenges Summons Issued by Magistrate

DMK president M Karunanidhi today filed a petition in the Madras High Court challenging summons issued to him by the Judicial Magistrate of Thiruvarur, taking cognizance of a complaint filed by Returning Officer of Thiruvarur Assembly constituency against the leader.

The Returning Officer on December 31 last year filed a complaint to the Judicial Magistrate against Karunanidhi, alleging that he had not furnished particulars about certain properties at the time of filing his nomination papers for the April 13, 2011 Assembly polls.

The Judicial Magistrate, who has taken cognizance of the complaint, had issued summons to Karunanidhi on January 3 this year asking him to appear before the court on March 7.

In his petition, Karunanidhi submitted that the complaint is contrary to the directions by the Election Commission vide its circular dated March 27, 2003 and against a judgement by the Supreme Court.

He submitted that nomination papers can not be rejected even if there was any failure or suppression in disclosure of any asset of a candidate as per the direction of ECI.

The affidavit which has to be filed at the time of submission of nomination paper as per Section 33-A of Representation of People Act only requires candidates to furnish information regarding criminal cases pending against them and does not require informations relating to assets of the candidate, Karunanidhi contended.

He said the failure to give information as per the above section makes it an offence under 125-A of the above act and liable to be prosecuted.

He contended that the Returning Officer had filed this complaint in contravention of the above circular sent by ECI.

Election officers were deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission for a period commencing on and from the date of notification calling for election and ending with the date of declaration of the results. The status of the officer ends on the date of declaration of the results, he contended.

The officer can not file a complaint now calling himself as a Returning Officer as the declaration of results was over by May 13, 2011, and he has no locus standi to file complaint against him, Karunanidhi contended.

He said the complaint had to be filed within one year from the alleged commission of offence and prayed to quash the summons issued to him in consequence of the "illegal cognizance" taken by the Judicial Magistrate.

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