Former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday received a setback from the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Sidhu to face trial for seeking assistance of a government servant during the 2009 general elections while partially dropping charges of corrupt practice and submission of false return on election expenses.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A M Sapre while allowing the appeal of Sidhu partially dropped two categories of allegations including commission of corrupt practice of submission of false return of election expenses and the action taken by the Returning Officer on the complaint filed by the Soni with regard to irregularities counting of votes.
"The allegation in the election petition is that the post to which Jagjit Singh Suchu was transferred from the Punjab State Electricity Board was under the state government and the assistance received by the returned candidate (Sidhu) from the said person is while he was rendering service as Additional Superintending Engineer, namely, while he was performing the duties in the state government. If that be so, the aforesaid issue also will have to go for a full trial as ordered by the High Court,” held the bench.
Congress candidate Om Prakash Soni had sought quashing of Sidhu’s election on the grounds that he had filed incorrect and deflated amount of his poll expenditure apart from also getting a state government official transferred to get help. The Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered Sidhu’s trial under the election law on these charges, compelling the former BJP MP to move in appeal.
Sidhu has recently floated a new political front Awaz-E-Punjab after resigning from his Rajya Sabha seat and BJP from which he had won the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat in 2009, defeating his Congress rival Om Prakash Soni.