Communal overtones get Shaji disqualified
THE HC registry will communicate the stay order to the Speaker of the Assembly and the Election Commission.
Shaji had secured 2,287 votes more than Nikesh. The petition alleged that an appeal was made to the voters belonging to the Muslim community, by Shaji, his agents and other people to vote for the UDF candidate on the ground of his religion. Pamphlets were circulated stating not to vote for a candidate who is not a believer of Islamic faith and not a member of the Muslim community. Another pamphlet was circulated with an aim of lowering the reputation of Nikesh. Police and the special squad sezied the pamphlets for detection of violation of the model code of conduct.
Shaji argued that he and his election agent never committed any corrupt practice. He had never shown any affinity towards any religion.
The pamphlet published against Nikesh stated “there is no space for non-Muslims before Allah, the most benevolent and they will not cross the bridge of ‘Sirath’ during final days. They are doomed to sleep with the devil. It requested Muslim voters to pray to Allah to bless Shaji, a Muslim, who prays five times a day.
The court observed that the candidate’s religion cannot be used for seeking votes on the ground. The statement in the pamphlets was a direct request to vote on the ground of Muslim religion and not to vote for a non-Muslim.