The petition argued that the doctors attesting her thumb impression were not gazetted officers.

Madras HC rejects PIL questioning validity of Jayalalithaas thumb impression on poll papers
news Politics Tuesday, November 08, 2016 - 12:13

The Madras High Court on Monday rejected a PIL questioning the thumb impression of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the nomination papers of three AIADMK candidates for the November 19 by-polls.

This comes after activist Traffic K Ramaswamy had filed a petition on Friday challenging the validity of the thumb impression in affidavits filed by AIADMK's Senthil Balaji, M Ramaswamy and AK Bose.

Nomination papers filed before the EC show that Jayalalithaa’s left thumb impression was attested by Dr P Balaji of Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital on October 27 with Apollo Hospital’s Dr Babu K Abraham as witness. 

The statement attested by Dr P Balaji on the nomination paper states, “The signatory is presently hospitalised at Apollo Hospital, Greames Road, Chennai. Since the signatory has undergone a tracheotomy recently and has an inflamed right hand, she’s temporarily unable to apply her signature. Hence, she has affixed her left thumb impression on her own in my presence.” 

In his petition, Ramaswamy had contended that a thumb impression is a valid form of attestation only in the case of persons who are illiterate or bereft of education. 

He stated, in case of thumb impression on health grounds, a separate procedure had to be followed, with the Chief Election Commissioner or his immediate subordinates were required to be present at the time the impression is made.

In his petition, Ramaswamy stated that there is no clear information on the health status of the CM and questioned if she was in a condition to properly record her consent on the nomination papers.

The petition also argued that the doctors who attested her thumb impression were not gazetted officers and hence, did not have the locus standi to validate the thumb impression.

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