SC refuses to stay Maha CM`s election

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 21:33

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to stay the Election Commission`s decision to conduct
poll on May 4 to fill up the sole vacancy in the Maharashtra
Legislative Council for which Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan
is contesting.

A three-judge bench of justices J M Panchal, Deepak
Verma and B S Chauhan, however, allowed the petitioner, Shiv
Sena MLC Anil Dattatray Parab, to implead the Chief Minister
and issued notice to the Election Commission on the petition
accusing the poll body of having a "nexus" with the ruling.
The petition alleged that the Commission was going
ahead with the May 4 poll by seeking permission of the
Bombay High Court despite the fact that an petition
challenging the election of the Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt was
pending before the latter. Dutt has vacated the seat to
facilitate Chavan`s election.

"This purported urgency shown by the Office of the
Election Commissioner, it is most respectfully submitted, is
not only contrary to the stand taken by its counsel in
Election Commission of India vs Telangana Rastra Samithi, but
also reflects the unholy and extra-constitutional nexus
between itself and the ruling party, thereby, casting serious
doubts on its independent status.
"The hon`ble high court has failed to appreciate this
inconsistency in the stand taken by the Election
Commissioner," the petition stated.

Chavan, earlier a Minister of State in Prime
Minister`s Office (PMO) who replaced Ashok Chavan as the Chief
Minister of Maharashtra on November 11, last year, is required
constitutionally to get elected to either houses of the State
Legislature on or before May 11.

The Commission had to seek permission to hold the
elections as Parab had in January this year challenged the
June 2010 MLC elections in which four MNS MLAs were allowed to
vote despite being under suspension.

Parab, in his special leave petition, submitted that
the high court order had failed to take into consideration a
Supreme Court judgement in the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi
(TRS) case that casual vacancy could not be filled up when
election petitions were pending in the court.

He said the SLP raised important questions of law as
to whether the Commission’s stand in the pending election
petitions reflected an unholy and extra-constitutional nexus
between itself and the ruling party, thereby, casting serious
doubts on its independent status.

He alleged that the earlier MLC elections left no room
for doubt that this was a classic case of corrupt practice.

There is an open admission that the 13 MNS MLAs had voted for
the ruling party to ensure his defeat and in return the ruling
party agreed to revoke/cancel the suspension of the four
MLAs, he alleged.


First Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 21:33

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