Bombay City Civil Court reserves its order on Gopinath Munde's challenge over nomination till October 21

Gopinath Munde’s application to contest polls was rejected by the election officer on the basis of his residential status © IANS

Mumbai: Oct 19, 2013 

A civil court on Saturday reserved its order till Monday on a suit filed by senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gopinath Munde challenging rejection of his nomination to contest for the president’s post at the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) polls.

Judge MS Sharma of the Bombay City Civil Court heard the arguments of counsels appearing for Munde, MCA and Sharad Pawar and is likely to pass the order on Monday.

Arguing for Munde, his lawyers Niranjan Bhadang and Vivekanand Gupta raised the point of residential status of Pawar who was elected unopposed as MCA president in the biennial polls held yesterday.

“The Lok Sabha’s website, till the time MCA election took place, showed Pawar’s address as Baramati and previously between 2001 and 2011 when Pawar was the president of MCA, he was having the election card showing Baramati as his address”, they argued.

Munde’s application to contest polls was rejected by the election officer on the basis of his residential status observing that address as per his electoral registration was Beed.

“Munde’s passport bears the address of Mumbai and that’s his permanent address”, said Bhadang, adding that the senior BJP leader’s permanent address has been Mumbai since 1986.

The counsel also referred to former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh (now deceased) saying his passport, which had his Mumbai address, was considered as permanent address.

“..Why are there two criteria for Munde and Deshmukh? This rejection is a conspiracy,” argued Bhadang.

However MCA’s counsel countered Bhadang’s contention and told the court that enough opportunity was given to Munde and all procedures were duly followed.

He also argued that Munde, who is alleging mala-fide intentions behind rejection of his candidature, will have to show what those mala-fide intentions are.

“It needs to be shown that the presiding authority has connection with Pawar. The conclusion of the domestic tribunal needs to be shown as perverse without which civil court has no jurisdiction to interfere,” he argued.

In his suit challenging the MCA decision, Munde said rejection of his nomination by election officer SM Gorwadkar was “illegal” and prayed for reelection for the post of president.

Munde requested that Pawar be refrained from taking the charge as MCA president and even if he assumes charge, he should not be allowed to discharge functions as the president.

The BJP leader also named outgoing MCA president Ravi Savant, joint secretaries Nitin Dalal and PV Shetty, CT Singhvi (of Vile Parle club), who had raised the objection, and Gorwadkar as other respondents.