The Kerala High Court recently in the case of D Kumar v. A Raja, declared the election of Communist Party of India candidate A Raja from the Devikulam constituency in the 2021 State assembly as void. As the seat was reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) and at the time of the nomination Raja was professing Christianity, which does not fall under the ambit of Scheduled Caste.
A petition was filed by D Kumar (Congress candidate), in which he contended that the Constituency seat filled by him was reserved for SC among Hindus within the State of Kerala. Since Raja was professing Christianity it was a breach of the Representation of the People Act by occupying the seat reserved for Hindus.
Justice P Somarajan held that “The respondent was professing Christianity at the time when he had submitted his nomination and converted to Christianity long before its submission. As such, after the conversion, he cannot claim as a member of the Hindu religion. On that score also, the returning officer ought to have rejected his nomination. In short, on both grounds, it is clear that the respondent is not a member of “Hindu Parayan” within the State of Kerala and is not qualified to be chosen to fill a seat in the Legislative Assembly of the State of Kerala reserved for Scheduled Caste – the Legislative Assembly Seat of 088 Devikulam Legislative Constituency and hence the election of the respondent as the returned candidate for the said constituency in the year 2021 (06/04/2021) is declared void under Section 98 of Representation of People Act, 1951.”