PIL in SC to bar people from contesting polls from two seats
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking to restrict candidates from contesting elections for the same office simultaneously from more than one constituency.
New Delhi: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking to restrict candidates from contesting elections for the same office simultaneously from more than one constituency.
The PIL has also sought a direction to the Centre and the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take appropriate steps to discourage independent candidates from contesting Parliament and state assembly elections.
The petition, filed by Delhi BJP spokesperson and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, sought to declare as invalid and ultra-virus section 33(7) of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, which allows a person to contest a general election or a group of bye-elections or biennial elections from two constituencies.
"When a candidate contests from two seats, it is imperative that he has to vacate one of the two seats if he wins both. This, apart from the consequent unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding bye-election against the resultant vacancy, is also an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting from," it said.
It also said that in July 2004, the Chief Election Commissioner had urged the then Prime Minister for amendment of Section 33(7) of the RP Act to provide that a person cannot contest from more than one constituency for the same office simultaneously.
"The ECI alternatively suggested that if existing provisions are retained, then the candidate contesting from two seats should bear the cost of the bye-election to the seat that the contestant decides to vacate in the event of his/her winning both seats," it said, adding that the Centre has not taken appropriate steps in this regard till date.
It also sought to discourage independent candidates from contesting elections, saying they were often connected with the issue of "fragmented voting" and instability in the electoral system.