The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea filed by the Congress challenging the Election Commission’s decision to hold separate bye-elections to two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat, The Indian Express reported. The bye-elections are scheduled for July 5.
The Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai said the court cannot intervene after the Election Commission issues notification for elections, NDTV reported. “It’s better the petitioner can go for [an] election petition after the results,” the judges said. “Once the notification is issued by the Election Commission, the only remedy is to file an election petition... What’s the violation of fundamental rights here?”
An election petition is a procedure used to question the election results of parliamentary, Assembly or local elections, PTI reported.
Last week, the Supreme Court had sought a response from the Election Commission regarding the plea. The two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant following the elections of Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani to the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi.
Leader of the Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani had filed the plea on June 17. The Congress leader had urged the Supreme Court to direct the poll panel to conduct simultaneous bye-elections for filling up Rajya Sabha vacancies in all states.
The poll panel’s notice terms the vacancies created as “casual vacancies”, a term the petitioner opposed. Dhanani said the term was a “complete and direct violation of the provisions of Representation of People Act”. Dhanani had requested the top court to declare the poll panel’s order “unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal, void ab initio”, claiming that it violated of Article 14 of Constitution.