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PIL in SC to restrain people from contesting two seats

To restrict a candidate from contesting from more than one constituency, the Supreme Court on Monday directed that copies of a petition be served on the Attorney General and the Election Commission (EC) seeking assistance.  

Published: 12th December 2017 02:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th December 2017 08:51 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: To restrict a candidate from contesting from more than one constituency, the Supreme Court on Monday directed that copies of a petition be served on the Attorney General and the Election Commission (EC) seeking assistance. 

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the petitioner to serve the copy of the petition to the Attorney General for rendering assistance to it.
During the brief hearing, the bench took note of the arguments put forward by the poll panel counsel and the bench then said, “The practice adds to the burden on the exchequer since another election has to be conducted on the seat vacated by the candidate.”

“Proposals have been sent twice to the government—one in 2004, and then in December 2016—for amendment in the election law. Huge expenditure is incurred in conducting by-elections, voters also suffer,” the EC counsel submitted.It is a common practice prevalent amongst political parties to field one leader from multiple seats in order to ensure a victory for the candidate. In case the candidate wins the elections from more than one seat, he or she is required to vacate one where bypolls are held later.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contested the

2014 Lok Sabha elections from Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Following victories in both, he vacated the Vadodara seat.The plea stated, “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.”

The court’s order came on the plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who has sought directions to authorities to take appropriate steps to discourage the independent candidates from contesting the Parliament and State Assembly election as suggested by National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) and Election Commission of India.

Upadhyay has said the question of independent candidates is often connected with the issue of fragmented voting and instability in the electoral system and referred to the Law Commission’s 170th report which said the time is now ripe for debarring independent candidates from contesting Lok Sabha elections.

Double whammy

It is a common practice prevalent amongst political parties to field one leader from multiple seats in order to ensure a victory for the candidate. In case the candidate wins the elections from more than one seat, he or she is required to vacate one where bypolls are held later. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.



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