Chennai: The Madras High Court today dismissed a petition that the Election Commission of India (ECI) be directed to suspend the result of the RK Nagar bypoll that concluded last month, and held that the courts could not do so once it was declared.
Dismissing the PIL petition filed by city-based lawyer SV Ramamurthy on this, the first bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee said, "The courts cannot suspend the election result once it is declared. Such relief can be sought only through an election petition under the Representation of People Act."
The petitioner sought a court direction to the EC to suspend the bypoll results and to restrain sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran from functioning as the MLA of the constituency, following allegations of money distribution in the run-up to the by-election.
The results of the bypoll were declared on December 24.
The petitioner alleged that Mr Dhinakaran, who contested as an independent candidate in the December 21 by-election, had won it by indulging in electoral malpractices.
The ECI had said it had seized around Rs 30 lakh meant to have been distributed to the constituency's voters, the petitioner claimed.
He also submitted that he had not received a response so far from the ECI with regard to his December 29 representation on the issue.
Amid accusations of bribery by rival sides - the AIADMK and the Dhinakaran camp - the former Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MP won the seat by 40,000 votes. He defeated ruling party candidate E Madhusudhanan, giving a jolt to the dispensation led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
Mr Dhinakaran, who made his debut in the state assembly yesterday, has denied charges of money distribution during the hustings.