RS polls put off on Centre’s advice: EC

The Election Commission of India (ECI) decided to put on hold the election to fill the three Rajya Sabha vacancies from Kerala considering the views of the Centre and a legal opinion, the ECI has informed the Kerala High Court.

In an additional statement filed before the court, the ECI said the Ministry of Law and Justice felt that if the elections were held as per the original schedule, it “may not reflect the will of the people”.

The Ministry’s view was communicated on March 3, the eve of the issuance of the notification for the election.

It felt that if the Rajya Sabha election was held on April 12, 2021 the popular will that was recorded in the ballot box following the Assembly election held on April 6 may not be reflected, it submitted.

The ECI filed the additional statement in the petitions filed by the Secretary of the Kerala Legislative Assembly and S. Sharma, MLA, challenging its decision to postpone the election.

A senior advocate, an expert in constitutional and electoral laws, advised the commission that it would be “constitutionally just and proper that the new Assembly, whose elections are being held and the polling would conclude on 6 April 2021, which is before the expiry of the term of three members of Rajya Sabha from the State of Kerala, should constitute the electoral college for filling the three vacancies”, it submitted.

The lawyer suggested that it would be “just, fair and constitutional to announce the biennial election for filling the three vacancies of the Rajya Sabha from the State of Kerala after the new Legislative Assembly of Kerala is constituted”.

The commission submitted that it was not much concerned about the question of which Assembly voted for the biennial elections. It was concerned about the fulfilment of its constitutional duty to conduct the elections at the earliest. A notification would be issued before the expiry of the term of retiring members, which is April 21 in this case.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 11:48:06 PM |

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