HC holds election petition against Anto Antony maintainable

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday held as maintainable a petition challenging Congress nominee Anto Antony's election from the Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha seat on grounds that his wife had allegedly canvassed votes for him in the name of religion.

Justice P.B Sureshkumar said the petition filed by Left Democratic Front Election Committee convenor S. Ananthappan on behalf of the front's losing candidate Veena George in the polls held in April was maintainable and the court would go ahead with the hearing.

The petitioner has alleged that Anto's wife sought votes from Christians for her husband in the name of religion.

When the matter came up for hearing, Justice Sureshkumar said the charge of use of religion in canvassing votes amounted to a corrupt practice.

He, however, observed that the allegation that Anto used the the Sabarimala temple women's entry issue for canvassing votes was not maintainable.

Sabarimala, the abode of Lord Ayyappa, comes under the Pathanamthitta constituency. The judge adjourned the petition to November 13.