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IAS officer Vinita Bohra won't rebut evidence in Gujarat High Court

The court had asked Bohra and Jani on June 19 to clarify whether they want to rebut any material or evidence that has come on its record in the case.

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IAS officer Vinita Bohra won't rebut evidence in Gujarat High Court
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Rajasthan-cadre IAS officer Vinita Bohra on Tuesday submitted before the Gujarat High Court that she does not intend to rebut any material or evidence which has come on the court's record till date in connection with the election petition filed by Congress leader Ashwin Rathod against the controversial poll victory of education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama from the Dholka assembly constituency.

Bohra, who was an observer in the poll, along with returning officer Dhaval Jani were made respondents in the case by the high court after it found 'glaring violations' of the Election Commission (EC) guidelines in the counting of votes. The court had asked Bohra and Jani on June 19 to clarify whether they want to rebut any material or evidence that has come on its record in the case.

In a written statement submitted to the court through her lawyer Hetu Sudarshan, Bohra has also requested the bench to analyse her role as an observer in the 2017 election considering the guidelines laid down in the 'Observer Handbook 2017' issued by the EC. She had earlier requested the court to drop her name from the case proceedings, claiming that there are no allegations against her in the petition. She had then clarified that postal ballot counting comes under the domain of the returning officer and her role was only to ensure that postal ballot counting takes place before EVM votes.

Interestingly, Chudasama had won the election by a wafer-thin margin of 327 votes after Jani mysteriously rejected 429 votes received through postal ballots. After the remarks made by the single-judge bench of Justice Paresh Upadhyay, the poll panel had informed the court that it had written to Rajasthan and Gujarat chief secretaries to initiate disciplinary action against Bohra and Jani for their lapses in the 2017 elections.

Meanwhile, counsel for Jani sought time to clarify his stand before the court and whether he wants to cross examine witnesses who have already deposed before the court. Also, an application moved by Jani against the administrative action to remove him from his position in Dholka post the remarks made by the court, was also withdrawn by the state administrative services officer.

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