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Supreme Court Stays Orissa High Court Order Nullifying Election of Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim

New Delhi: The Supreme Court intervened on Monday by staying the Orissa High Court’s order nullifying the 2019 election of Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim from the Cuttack-Barabati Assembly constituency in Odisha.

The bench, comprising Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan, responded to the plea of senior advocate Dr. S Muralidhar, representing Moquim, who argued that the High Court’s judgment was excessively technical and lengthy, as reported by LiveLaw.

Justice Kant noted, “It was difficult to dig out facts or anything,” expressing concerns over the intricacies of the HC’s ruling.

The apex court also issued a notice to BJD leader Debashish Samantaray, who contested Moquim’s election results after losing by 3827 votes in 2019. Samantaray alleged that Moquim had concealed criminal cases pending against him while submitting his poll affidavit.

On March 4, Justice Sangam Kumar Sahoo, presiding over a single-judge bench, ruled that Moquim had not filed his nomination papers in compliance with Section 33 of the Representation of Peoples’ Act, 1951. Furthermore, Moquim allegedly failed to provide a proper and full declaration regarding the 13 pending criminal cases in his affidavit accompanying the nomination papers.

“Therefore, his nomination is liable for rejection,” Justice Sahoo stated in the order, further emphasizing, “The returning officer should have rejected the nomination at the time of scrutiny of the nomination papers. But the returning officer illegally and improperly accepted the nomination papers of Moquim.”

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