BJP's Bhopal Candidate Pragya Singh Thakur (File Photo)
BJP's Bhopal Candidate Pragya Singh Thakur (File Photo)

Pragya Singh Thakur dubs plea seeking to bar her from contesting elections as 'frivolous', 'politically motivated'

ANI | Updated: Apr 23, 2019 14:10 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) Apr 23 (ANI): BJP’s candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, Pragya Singh Thakur on Tuesday filed her response to the plea by the father of a deceased victim in the 2008 Malegaon terror blast seeking to bar her from contesting the ongoing elections and dubbed the petition as “frivolous”
Thakur, a key accused in the case said that the plea was filed with a “political agenda” and was “publicity stunt”.
"It is submitted that it is beyond the competence of the Intervener to file application with prayers of the nature filed, more particularly when the same is without an affidavit in the support. The Intervener having knowledge of the same has still deliberately preferred to file this misconceived application, for extraneous objectives and for want of publicity," Thakur said in her response to the application filed by Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal.
In her reply filed before the NIA court, Pragya also said, "There is no provision in the Representation of Peoples Act 1951, which disqualifies the candidate from contesting elections if a criminal case is pending against him/her."
She added that the only act which can stop someone from contesting is under section 8 of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951.
"It is important to appreciate that sub-section 4 of sec. 8 says that even if a person who is a member of parliament or legislature of state is convicted, disqualification shall not take place if the appeal or application for revision is filed in respect of this conviction and sentenced within a period of 90 days from the date of conviction and the said conviction or sentence is stayed by the court," the reply copy stated.
Thakur added that the Election Commission asks every candidate to furnish his/her criminal background in the affidavit submitted at the time of nomination and pendency of these cases is not stoppage to contest elections."....the criminal jurisprudence clearly says that unless a person is convicted, he shall be deemed to be innocent," she added.
She also accused that the intervener application filed by Nishar is to fulfil political gains and is indicative of "malicious motives". "...the present application has attempted to pressurize the Respondent by threatening to injunct the rights of Respondent to contest election, and hand in glove with the political parties, has thereby attempted to extend political mileage to political parties contesting elections against herein respondents (Pragya)," the BJP candidate from Bhopal said.
The reply came on an intervener application filed by Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, whose son Sayyed Azhar died in the blast seeking court's direction to bar Thakur from contesting elections as the case is under trial.
Meanwhile, responding to the same application, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that 'the matter pertains to elections and the Election Commission of India, NIA has no jurisdiction'
On Tuesday, Thakur filed her nomination papers from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency. She was accompanied by three supporters and her advocate.
Thakur is among the seven accused facing trial in the Malegaon blast case, wherein six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra's Malegaon on September 29, 2008. (ANI)