The Election Commission has issued a notification to hold by-polls for two vacated Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat. Gujarat Congress legislator and the Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, has approached the Supreme Court against the notification and decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The seats were vacated after Amit Shah won from Gandhinagar and Smriti Irani from Amethi Lok Sabha constituencies. The petitioner contented that these vacancies are statutory vacancies under Section - 69 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 ( RP Act) and these cannot be taken as ‘casual vacancies’ as mentioned in the press release dated June 15.
But the Election Commission on June 15 has also cited two Delhi High Court rulings of the year 1994 and 2009 which support the system of holding separate by-polls in the same state under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act,1951
The petitioner contended in his petition that if the separate elections are held, it may result into abuse of power as the majority party will always be able to manipulate the situation in such a way that it gets maximum seats.
The petition is likely to be heard by the vacation bench as an urgent hearing. The petition sought directions to quash the notification of EC and declare it as unconstitutional, void - ab-initio and violative of Article -14 of the Indian Constitution.