A Subramani TNN
Chennai:The election case proceedings, questioning the election of union home minister P Chidambaram from Sivaganga parliamentary constituency in 2009, has entered a decisive phase, with the Madras high court framing issues to be adjudicated and fixing November 1 as the date for trial commencement.
AIADMK’s Raja Kannappan filed an election petition claiming that on May 16, 2009 when the votes were counted, he had secured 3,34,348 as against Chidambaram’s 3,30,994 votes. He claimed his votes were illegally transferred to the credit of the Congress candidate, thereby tilting the result in Chidambaram’s favour. Chidambaram denied the allegations and filed a preliminary objection petition to reject the case at the initial stage itself. The high court dismissed the preliminary objection petition in June, setting the stage for a trial.
Last week, when the matter came up again before Justice K Venkataraman, the court framed key issues to be adjudicated in the matter. Among the issues now before the court are whether the allegations of malpractice leveled against Chidambaram have to be tested by the court or not, and if his election should be declared as null and void, consequently declaring Raja Kannappan as the successful candidate.
One important issue that the court will look at is if Chidambaram visited the Rajagambeeram police station in Manamadurai where his son had been detained, after a case was registered against him on a complaint from one Chelliah. Chidambaram denied it. His side has now filed a fresh petition saying a person cited as 19th respondent in the election petition should not be cross-examined. The court has since issued notice to all relevant parties.