SC issues notice to EC on plea filed by Congress against by-polls for 2 Rajya Sabha Seats in Gujarat

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The Top Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Poll Commission on a petition filed by Congress Leader against its decision to hold separate by-polls for two Vacant Rajya Sabha Seats in Gujarat.

A top Court Bench comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant issued a notice to the Election Commission and asked to file a reply by Monday. The Apex Court following deferred the hearing and posted it for Tuesday.

Supreme Court’s move comes after a Gujarat Congress Leader Pareshbhai Dhanani, moved to the Top Court seeking directions to the Poll Commission to hold simultaneous elections in the vacant seats of Rajya Sabha under the provision of Representative People’s Act.

The Election Commission had last week announced that the elections to 6 vacant seats of the Rajya Sabha including 2 from Gujarat will be held on July 5. In a plea, he sought the Supreme Court’s directives to the EC to hold simultaneous by-polls and filling all vacancies in the state.

The plea further said that Election Commission in its Press Release dated June 15 termed the statutory vacancies as ‘Casual Vacancies’ which is the clear violation of the provisions of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA).

The plea claimed that vacancies created with the election to the Lok Sabha are statutory vacancies and not casual vacancies as per the provisions of Representation of People’s Act (RPA).

Both the vacancies in Gujarat was created after Amit Shah and Smriti Irani elected to the 17th Lok Sabha.

The plea further claimed that separate elections for the two Rajya Sabha Seats in Gujarat that were created as statutory vacancies are a clear violation of proportional representation under the provisions of Representation of People’s Act (RPA).

Calling the Election Commission’s press release arbitrary, the plea further sought the quashing of the press release. It further claimed that it is a clear violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

Congress MLA Pareshbhai Dhanani, who is a Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, also slammed Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He accused BJP of misusing the Election Commission Office to have its rule in the upper house of the Parliament.

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