Delhi High Court dismisses plea to disqualify PM, cites petitioner's mental health [3.7.2024]

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea aimed at disqualifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi from electoral contests, citing concerns over the mental health of the petitioner. Captain Deepak Kumar, the petitioner, alleged that Modi, along with Home Minister Amit Shah and former Minister of Communications Jyotiraditya Scindia, had taken false oaths of allegiance to the Indian Constitution and conspired against him.

Kumar's petition had specifically targeted Modi's oath during the filing for candidacy in the Varanasi constituency for the upcoming 2024 general elections, alleging falsehood and demanding an investigation leading to potential debarment from public office if proven true.

“The Candidate for Varanasi constituency for the 2024 general elections Narender Modi had submitted before the returning officer a false oath or affirmation to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India," the petition read.

“Narender Modi, Amit Shan, Jyotiraditya Scindia and their accomplices are a criminal element will be detrimental for Indian Society at large. Thus is to be declared a rogue element as well as unqualified for submitting false Oath or affirmation to bear true faith and allegiance ot the Constitution as being candidate for Varanasi Lok Sabha Seat for the general election of year 2024,” it added.

The Division Bench, led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Tushar Rao Gedela, expressed grave doubts about the coherence and credibility of Kumar's claims.

They remarked that his petition contained unsubstantiated and wildly varying allegations, including accusations of attempts on his life orchestrated by a former Chief Justice of India. The Bench concluded that Kumar's assertions were baseless and lacked any factual basis, dismissing the appeal as preposterous.

"Are you well? You petition is incoherent. It is going from one end of the spectrum to the other. It is going from saying that the plane you were flying crashed to your daughter is missing to former CJI trying to kill you. Are you well? No human being can understand the petition. It makes no sense and the single-judge is right in saying that it is replete with unsubstantiated allegations," the Bench said.

The court also instructed local authorities to monitor Kumar's well-being under the Mental Healthcare Act, given the erratic nature of his claims.

Section 100 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, mandates police officers to protect any person found wandering within their jurisdiction if they suspect the individual is suffering from mental illness and is incapable of self-care. Furthermore, Section 101 obliges the police to report such individuals to the Magistrate, and Section 102 requires the Magistrate to transfer them to mental health establishments.

Earlier, a single-judge bench had similarly rejected Kumar's plea, labelling it as mala fide.

04 Jul 2024