BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, on Wednesday got a major relief as a special NIA court turned down a plea seeking to bar her from contesting the ongoing elections.
The plea filed by the father of a victim of the 2008 Malegaon terror blast.
Special NIA judge Vinod Padalkar while rejecting the plea said, “In present ongoing elections this court does not have any legal powers to prohibit anyone from contesting elections. It is the job of the electoral officers to decide. This court can’t stop the accused from contesting elections. This application is negated by this court.”
He also stated that during the course of hearing the agency cannot mention that there is no prima facie case against Thakur. In his order the Judge mentioned: “When a court of earlier NIA Judge had dismissed the discharge application, it means that the court has prima facie found material in the charges against the accused. At this juncture, NIA can’t state that there is no prima facie against the accused as NIA has not challenged the order before the high court.”
During the hearing NIA counsel told the court that the agency can’t say anything on this as it cannot stay anyone’s candidature in the election. “That can be done by Election Commission itself. According to us, this court has no jurisdiction to prevent anyone from contesting elections as per Representation of People’s Act,” the NIA submitted its status report before the court.