'Unfit', 'Acting as a Political Agent': MP High Court Censures Panna Collector
"It is submitted that principles of natural justice were not followed," the High Court said.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday, 3 August, slammed the District Collector of Panna, Sanjay Kumar Mishra, and said that he was 'unfit to be the collector' and was acting as a 'political agent.'
The High Court bench comprising Justice Vivek Agrawal was hearing a case filed by one Parmanand Sharma, who ran for the post of vice president of Janpad Panchayat in Gunnour, Panna.
The election for this post was held on 27 July 2022.
Sharma was declared the winner of the election by one vote, he secured 13 out of 25 votes, by the district election officer. The winning certificate was also issued to Sharma.
However, his counterpart, BJP-supported Ram Shiromani filed an appeal with the Panna district collector who ruled out the official announcement by the election officer and instead, declared Shiromani as the winner.
Considering the sensitivity of the case, the High Court came down heavily on the collector, saying that he was a political agent who was unfit for his post, and also issued a notice to him.
"It is submitted that principles of natural justice were not followed. Collector Shri Sanjay Kumar Mishra, acted as a political agent of the Ruling Party. He did not act independently and Election Commission should have removed him from the post of District Returning Officer."Madhya Pradesh High Court
The Court also directed to implead Sanjay Kumar Mishra as a party by name.
Congress Raises Concern, Claims Officials Acted as Puppet
Soon after the video of the court proceedings went viral, Congress leaders criticised the ruling BJP government.
Congress' Arun Yadav, who is also a former union minister, took to Twitter to claim that officials acted as a puppet of the BJP government during the MP Nagriya Nikay elections (civic body elections).
"Today the High Court reprimanded Panna Collector Sanjay Kumar Mishra and said that the Panna Collector acted like an agent of the ruling party, he should be removed from the post," he tweeted in Hindi.
"The Congress party has been constantly talking about the fact that the collectors were acting as a puppet of the BJP government," Arun Yadav's tweet read.
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