Supreme Court rejects Congress plea over separate Rajya Sabha by-polls in Gujarat
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Congress’ plea against the Election Commission’s order to hold separate bypolls for two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat. Dismissing the plea, a vacation bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant said that it can’t interfere in the process of elections once the notification is issued by the poll panel. The bench, however, allowed the Congress party to file "election plea" after the conclusion of polls to file the two Rajya Sabha seats.
"The court can’t interfere in the process of election as the notification regarding the election has already been issued. You can’t file a, election petition after the polls," the bench said.
Earlier last week, the Supreme Court had sought the Election Commission's response on a plea filed by the Gujarat Congress against the poll body's decision to hold separate bypolls to fill the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Amit Shah, Smriti Irani following their election to Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi, respectively.
On June 15, the Elections Commission had announced that bypolls to six Rajya Sabha seats, including two in Gujarat vacated by Union ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani, will be held on July 5. The decision to issue a separate notifications for the bypolls didn't go down well with the Congress party which accused the poll panel of working under the ruling party's pressure.
Terming the Election Commission's decision to hold separate bypolls for the two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat "unconstitutional", state Congress chief Amit Chavda had said, "Election to two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat should be held together. But in order not to lose any of the two seats, the BJP has pressurised the Election Commission into holding the polls to the two seats separately, which is unconstitutional."
The Congress had moved a petition in the Supreme Court sekeing direction to quash and declare the poll panel's order as "unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal, void ab initio" as it was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.