Nation Current Affairs 17 Jul 2018 Centre in Supreme Co ...

Centre in Supreme Court justifies contest from 2 seats

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J VENKATESAN
Published Jul 17, 2018, 1:37 am IST
Updated Jul 17, 2018, 1:37 am IST
Says provision will help both candidates and voters.
Supreme Court
 Supreme Court

New Delhi: Even as the Election Commission has said that it favoured the proposal to bar a candidate from contesting in two Assembly/parliamentary constituencies during elections, the Centre on Monday justified such a provision of law. Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, allows a person to contest a general election or a group of bypoll or biennial elections from two constituencies, whereas Section 70 of the RPA, specifies that if a person is elected to more than one seat in either House of the Parliament or in either House of the State Legislature, then he/she can only hold on to one of the seats that he/she won in the election.

BJP advocate and spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya had challenged this provision as unconstitutional.  The election commission in its response said it had made a proposal to the government in 2004 and 2016 to amend the provisions of Representation of the People Act to restrict the contest from only one constituency.  Rejecting the EC’s proposal, the Centre said the provision was intended to strike a reasonable balance to candidates who wanted to contest in two constituencies and the rights of voters.

 

Such a provision provides wider choice to the polity as well as the candidate and is in line with the democratic set up in the country.  It said the petitioner had failed to demonstrate the injustice it may cause to the voters at large and could not ask the court to legislate. The petitioner said “One Person One Vote and One Candidate One Constituency” is the dictum of democracy. However, as per the law, as it stands today, a person can contest the election for the same office from two constituencies simultaneously.

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