New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday decided
to examine an important question of law as to whether the
Election Commission was bound to conduct polls in
constituencies where the election of a candidate is under
challenge before a court.
A Bench of Justices Altamas and A K Patnaik sought a
response from the Centre on the issue and asked the Attorney
General to assist the court on the issue.
It also issued a notice to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi,
a political party in Andhra Pradesh on a petition filed by the
The Bench passed the direction after the Election
Commission moved the apex court urging it to lay down a clear
law on the issue for interpreting Section 151A of the
Representation of Peoples Act (RPA).
Under Section 151A, it is mandatory for the Election
Commission to conduct polls within six months from the date of
vacancy in a particular constituency.
Counsel for the poll panel Meenakshi Arora submitted that
the issue needs to be resolved as the Andhra Pradesh High
Court had recently directed the Commission to notify polls to
Sircilla and Vemulavada Assembly Constituencies along with
10 other constituencies in Telangana regions scheduled for
polls on July 27.
The High Court had passed the direction on a petition by
TRS questioning the decision of the Commission not to notify
the election in the Sircilla and Vemulavada constituencies. It
rejected the poll panel`s stance that the notification could
not be issued for the two constituencies since elections
petitions against the elected candidates were pending before
the local courts.
Aggrieved by the High Court`s direction, the Election
Commission had approached the apex court on the ground that a
clear law has to be laid down on the issue in view of
According to the Commission, while the AP High Court had
held that it was mandatory for elections to be conducted
within six months irrespective of the pendency of an election
petition, the Karnataka High Court it said had on another
occasion held that there was no such injunction.