SC allows Karnataka BJP MP to cast vote in Prez poll

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today allowed BJP MP J Shantha from Bellary (ST) Lok Sabha seat, whose election was set aside by the Karnataka High Court, to cast her vote in the Presidential poll. A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur, however, said that her vote would not be counted and be kept in a sealed envelop which can be opened only on its direction if necessary.

Earlier, the apex court had allowed her to attend the Parliamentary proceedings without exercising her voting right or availing any perquisite while staying High Court`s June 11 order which had quashed her election. Shantha, who defeated N Y Hanumanthappa of Congress in the election, is the sister of former state minister B Sreeramulu, who has floated his own party "Badavara Shramikara and Raithara" (BSR).

On June 11, the high court had set aside Shantha`s election on a petition by Congress worker M Chandregowda, seeking her disqualification on the allegation that irregularities were committed during the counting of votes. Observing that her election in 2009 had "materially affected" the result of the election, the court ordered re-counting to be completed within four weeks.

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