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SC refuses to entertain Gujarat Congress plea against EC decision to hold separate bypolls for 2 RS seats

A vacation bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice B R Gavai, however, granted liberty to the Gujarat Congress to file an election petition after the conclusion of polls to the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Union Ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani. 

An election petition is a procedure to call into question the election results of Parliamentary, Assembly or local elections.

The plea was filed by Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Pareshbhai Dhanani.

The two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant after Mr Shah got elected to the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Ms Irani from Amethi. Both had been elected as Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat in 2017.

The Election Commission had clarified that the vacancies for by-polls to all Houses, including the Rajya Sabha, are considered “separate vacancies” and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same.

In his plea, Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Pareshbhai Dhanani had sought a direction to quash and declare the poll panel’s order as “unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal, void ab initio” and said it violated Article 14 of the Constitution. 

He had submitted that the poll panel is directed to hold simultaneous by-elections and polling for filling of all vacancies in all states, including Gujarat.

The MLA, through his lawyer, had submitted that separate elections for the two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat would upset the scheme of proportional representation as mandated under the Representation of People Act.

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