Bhubaneswar: In a major sigh of relief for Sundargarh Congress MLA Jogesh Kumar Singh, the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an interim stay on the Orissa High Court’s order declaring his election null and void.
Singh’s counsel Pitambar Acharya informed that a Division Bench of the apex court comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhusan passed the interim order. Besides Acharya, another eminent lawyer, New Delhi-based Kapil Sibal, was arguing Singh’s case in the Supreme Court.
On January 30, the High Court had declared Singh’s election from the Sundargarh constituency in 2014 invalid over the issue of his submitting a fake caste certificate.
The HC order came after hearing two separate petitions filed by Singh’s rival BJP candidate Sahadev Xaxa, who lost to him, and a local voter, Ajay Patel. The two petitioners alleged that Singh, despite not belonging to the Scheduled Tribe (ST), had managed to obtain an ST certificate and contested the election from the seat reserved for ST.
It was alleged that Singh had managed to get a false ST certificate showing his caste as ‘Bhuyan’ on the basis of a record of rights of a particular khatian which was submitted along with his nomination papers.
It was also alleged that he had concealed details of some information required to be furnished in the affidavit filed in Form-26 along with his nomination papers.
Singh moved the apex court challenging the decision of the High Court.