SC stays Karnataka HC order setting aside election of H D Devegowda's grandson as MP

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"We stay the High Court's but he shall not be entitled to allowances," a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Mishra said

In a relief to lone JD-S MP from Lok Sabha, Prajwal Revanna, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Karnataka High Court's September 1 order, which set aside his 2019 election from Hassan Parliamentary constituency.

The court admitted the statutory appeal for consideration and issued notice to the election petitioners.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi appeared for Prajwal and Senior advocate K K Venugopal represented Prajwal's father H D Revanna who was issued notice by the High Court under the provisions of the Representation of People Act.

Venugopal requested the court to allow the petitioner to contest the forthcoming Parliament elections next year, which the SC allowed. Prajwal is son of former Minister Revanna and grandson of ex PM H D Devegowda.

He assailed the HC order for not adhering to basic principle of law of any conclusion and finding to be unsubstantiated by cogent evidence, especially in an election trial wherein the degree of proof is set at par with a criminal trial, i.e., beyond reasonable doubt. He contended the HC order was cryptic and de hors any sound reasoning and permeated with ambiguity and self contradictory findings; and in violation of mandatory statutory requirements.

In separate plea, Prajwal's father Revanna contended the order has been passed on the presumption that the returned candidate and his family members have committed corrupt practice because they belong to an influential political family.

The HC's single judge bench of Justice K Natarajan had partly allowed the election petitions filed by A Manju, then BJP candidate and now a JD-S MLA and another person on the ground of corrupt practices for non disclosure of material facts, wrong disclosure of the value of the properties, evading taxes, proxy voting, exorbitant expenditures than the limit prescribed by the Election Commission. 

It had held Manju cannot be declared as returned candidate as he was also involved in corrupt practices, suppression of material facts, regarding income and pending cases and subsequently became an MLA on JDS ticket.

The HC had issued notice to Revanna and his another son Suraj Revanna to show cause as to why they should not be so named as per Section 99(a)(ii) of R P Act.

Case Title: Prajwal Revanna @ Prajwal R vs Sri A Manju and ors