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SC to hear plea of independent candidate from Banka against cancellation of his nomination for LS polls on April 19

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition filed by Jawahar Kumar Jha, an independent candidate from Banka parliamentary constituency in Bihar, who claims that his nomination was "illegally and arbitrarily" cancelled by the Returning Officer in the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections, 2024.

A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said it would hear the plea on April 19.

The petition filed through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava urged the top court to curb the arbitrary and malafide exercise of discretion by the Election Returning Officers across India in rejecting nomination papers of the candidates.

Direct the Election Returning Officers across India to "mandatorily provide a reasonable opportunity" of at least a day to every candidate to cure every defect marked in the election nomination papers, the plea urged.

It further sought direction to quash and set aside the press release dated April 5, 2024, issued by the Public Relation Office, Banka, vide which the nomination of the Jha was rejected.

Declare Jha as a valid candidate for contesting the upcoming parliamentary general elections 2024 to be held on April 26, 2024, at the Banka 27 parliamentary constituency, the petitioner asked.

"Issue urgent appropriate writ, order or direction to specifically define "the defects of substantial character" within the meaning of Section 36(4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951," the petition stated. 

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