SC seeks response on Ahmed Patel's plea to stay proceedings in Gujarat HC

The Supreme Court sought the response of a BJP leader on a plea by Ahmed Patel seeking a stay of proceedings in the Gujarat High Court which is hearing a petition challenging the senior Congress leader's election to the Rajya Sabha.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, however, allowed the Gujarat High Court to frame the issues to be decided by it on the petition filed by BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput challenging Ahmed's election to the Upper House.

Balwantsinh had lost the election to Patel.

The bench, which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, made it clear that the high court will not proceed in the matter thereafter.

The bench then posted the matter after four weeks and asked both the parties to complete their pleadings by filing replies and rejoinder affidavits in the mean time.

In his plea, Ahmed has said that the election petition filed by his rival BJP nominee Balwantsinh in the high court was not maintainable and needed to be dismissed.

Ahmed was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year after defeating Balwantsinh, who had resigned from the Congress to join the BJP which had nominated him as its candidate.

Immediately after Ahmed got elected, Balwantsinh had filed a petition in the high court challenging the poll panel's decision to invalidate the votes of two rebel MLAs.