SC rejects Congress petition against separate RS bypolls

The Supreme Court today rejected a petition by the Congress against holding separate bypolls to two seats in Gujarat that have fallen vacant after BJP’s Amit Shah and Smriti Irani moved to the Lok Sabha.

“It’s better the petitioner can go for election petition after the results. Once the notification is issued by the Election Commission, the only remedy is to file an election petition. The court can’t intervene after the EC issues notification for polls,” said a Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai. “What’s the violation of fundamental rights here?” the court said.

The Election Commission has fixed July 5 for separate Rajya Sabha by-elections to the two seats. The petition was filed by the Leader of the Opposition in the Gujarat assembly, Pareshbhai Dhanani.

“There is no violation of fundamental rights. Also, earlier judgements supported the Election Commission’s decision to hold separate polls. Today is the last date for nominations and the EC can go ahead and hold the polls as per schedule,” said Rakesh Diwedi, the Election Commission’s lawyer.

The Congress said holding the elections for the two seats separately would be against the rules. The BJP has 100 legislators in the Gujarat assembly and the Congress has 71.

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