The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Veteran Congress leader and party Chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s top aide Ahmed Patel to face trial in connection with his election to the Rajya Sabha in 2017 which has been challenged by BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput.
Patel had won a fifth term in the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in 2017 in a bitterly fought election.
The latest directive has come as a setback to Congress party.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi declined interfering with a Gujarat High Court order to proceed with the hearing of the petition by Rajput, observing that the allegations require a trial.
Rajput, who lost the polls to Patel, in the case has alleged that Patel indulged in corrupt practice by lodging 44 MLAs in a hotel in Bengaluru. He also contested the Election Commission’s decision to invalidate two votes by Congress MLAs — Raghavji Patel and Bholabhai Gohel — who had rebelled against the party.