As petition is withdrawn, will there be by-poll in Ottapidaram?

Madras High Court

Chennai: The Madras High Court has ruled that by-election can be held in Ottapidaram, which the Election Commission had excluded from the by-polls to be held 18 April along with 18 other constituencies in Tamilnadu.

Puthiya Tamizhagam leader, Dr Krishnaswamy, had filed the case in court against the 2016 election result of Ottapidaram constituency in Thoothukudi as he had lost the seat by 493 votes.

Krishnaswamy had then allied with the DMK and the AIADMK candidate R Sundararajan was declared the winner. So, the PT leader filed the case asking the High Court to declare Sundararajan’s victory as null and void as he had suppressed the fact that he had a government contract for sand quarrying.

The case, being heard by the bench of Justice Ravichandra Babu, was pending before the court all these years. At this point of time, MLA Sundararajan was disqualified on a charge of defection. After the Madras High Court confirmed his suspension, the seat was declared as being vacant.

PT leader Krishnaswamy.

But, as Krishnaswamy’s case was pending, the EC drew attention to it and did not include the Ottapidaram constituency in the 18 April by-elections this year.

This time, Krishnaswamy is fighting the general election as an ally of the AIADMK and is contesting from the Tenkasi parliamentary seat.

So, the PT leader filed a plea in the Madras High Court seeking permission to withdraw his election petition and that once it is withdrawn, the court should direct the EC to hold the election as per schedule.

When the petition came up in court today, the bench of Justice Ravichandra Babu accepted the case as withdrawn and said the EC can conduct the by-election as per law.

NT Bureau