The Madras High Court on Friday declared as invalid the election in 2016 of the AIAMDK's AK Bose, who died last year, in a by-election from the Tiruparankundram Assembly constituency.
The court also dismissed the plea of the unsuccessful DMK candidate P Saravanan to declare him the victor.
The Election Commission has deferred the by-election for this constituency citing this case despite the death of Bose due to cardiac arrest in 2018.
Saravanan filed the election petition raising doubts on affixing of the thumb impression by late AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa in Bose's election documents when she was admitted in Apollo Hospital.
The court declared Bose's election as void as there was no proof that Jayalalithaa was in a conscious mind to affix her thumb impression. A report in The Hindu states that the Court held that two top Election Commission (EC) officials had “played a fraud in connivance with the ruling party” by accepting the AIADMK supremo’s thumb impression on the candidate’s nomination papers.
Justice P Velmurugan came down heavily on the then Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajesh Lakhoni as well as Principal Secretary to the EC K.F. Wilfred.
In September 2016, Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospital. In October, she had an inflamed right hand as she had undergone tracheostomy and had to affix her left thumb impression in the documents submitted by the AIADMK candidate.
As per the Representation of People Act, a candidate contesting on behalf of a political party has to submit Form B, where their party leader has to authorise the candidate to contest under the party's election symbol.
The by-poll in Thiruparankundram was slated for November 19, 2016 and the AIADMK candidate had submitted the papers on October 28 to the Returning Officer.