The Gujarat High Court quashed and set aside a criminal complaint filed against State Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja for the alleged violation of the poll code in the 2007 elections. The same was allegedly in the Gujarat assembly elections when he fought from the Answara district in Ahmedabad as a BJP candidate. A petition was filed by the minister seeking the complaint to be quashed. A bench of Justice Ilesh J. Vora pronounced the verdict quashing the complaint filed against him under sections 127A(1), 127A(2)(a) punishable under Section 127A(4) of the Representation of the People (RP) Act.
The home minister filed an application seeking relief under section 482 CRPC and subsequently to set aside the summoning order against him. The president of the Ahmedabad City Congress Committee submitted an application in the form of a complaint to the district election commissioner alleging that the minister distributed pamphlets soon after the declaration of elections during the Navratri period. There was a photograph of the minister and a party symbol lotus along with the line ‘Aagvu Gujarat;’.Thus, respondent number 2 who was a nominated police officer filed a complaint against Jadeja. The investigation officer stated that they were unable to find the publisher of the pamphlet which was against section 127 A of the people's representation act. The counsel arguing on behalf of the applicant said that the pamphlet was not an ‘election pamphlet’ under Sub-section (3) (b) of Section 127A of the Act. Further, it was contended by the counsel representing the minister that the investigation officers heavily relied upon the allegations made in the complaint rather than examining the provisions of the RP act. Prakash Makwana, appearing on behalf of the respondent contended that there was prima facie evidence to proceed with the complaint and thus no error was committed by the respondent.
The court said, “A bare reading of Section 127A(1) read with two statements of witnesses as well as inquiry report, no prima-facie offence for the aforesaid offences having been disclosed against the applicant." The court also analyzed the legal provision which defines the term ‘election pamphlet’ and thus it was concluded that it cannot be treated as an election pamphlet. Thus, the Court concluded that the continuation of proceedings against the applicant to face the trial for aforesaid offences would nothing but abuse of the due process of law. Therefore, the complaint was declared to be quashed against home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja.