NEW DELHI: A voter may be “swayed” by the level of education of a candidate and prefer to cast his vote in favour of someone with a higher qualification, Delhi high court said.
The observation by the court came in its order dismissing a plea by former BJP MLA Karan Singh Tanwar seeking setting aside of AAP legislator “commando” Surender Singh’s election on the ground that he admitted to have furnished incorrect details of his education in the nomination papers.
While dismissing the application, Justice Hima Kohli kept pending the main election petition against Singh, saying that it shall have to go through the rigours of a full-fledged trial for a decision.
Tanwar in his election petition challenged Singh’s election on the grounds of non-declaration of government dues, non-furnishing of financial status and income tax returns, as well as incorrect disclosure of his educational qualification in his nomination papers.
The AAP legislator had, in his nomination papers, filled that he graduated from Sikkim University when he had actually graduated from EIILM University in Sikkim. He had claimed that it was an inadvertent mistake.
The court agreed with the AAP MLA’s claim that the incorrect disclosure was not a deliberate attempt to influence voters.
“The said defect in the disclosure is not of such a substantial character that could have materially prejudiced the prospect of the election, for it to be termed as a corrupt practice within the meaning of the Representation of the People Act, resulting in rejection of the nomination of the respondent (Singh), it said.
“Resultantly, the application for setting aside the election of the respondent on the ground of his making a misrepresentation with respect to the University from where he had acquired his graduation degree in the declaration form and passing a judgement on admissions, is dismissed,” it added.