SC not to interfere with poll rules

SC not to interfere with poll rules

The Supreme Court has refused to issue direction to the Union government or the Election Commission to frame rules for countermanding elections under situations which might arise between the period of notification and filing of nomination by candidates, including seizure of cash.

A three-judge bench, presided over by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, found no ground to entertain the PIL filed by Kolkata-based businessman Suneil Sarawgi.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior advocate S B Upadhyay submitted that though countermanding of elections is provided only under Section 58A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, appropriate rules require to be framed for certain situations.

“Otherwise the plenary powers become uncanalised and unbridled and exercise of executive powers can transgress into a field already occupied by substantive provisions relating to such situations and the procedure prescribed for dealing with such situations,” he said.

Asserting that arbitrary use of power for countermanding elections amounted to violation of rights guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution, counsel contended that the EC can frame rules regarding adjournment of poll or countermanding of elections on grounds which are not provided under section 58A.

There is a provision in the statute for countermanding elections on the grounds of use of money power and booth capturing. However, making a recommendation for rescinding the notification issued for the election was not provided anywhere in the Act.

After hearing counsel for a while, the bench, also comprising justices D K Jain and A R Dave, said the court cannot issue direction to the Legislature to frame rules.

“We are of the view that the reliefs sought for in the writ petition would really be available to the writ petitioner not before this forum, but before the Legislature. Accordingly, while dismissing the writ petition, we make it clear that the petitioner will be at liberty to take steps before the appropriate forum,” the bench said.

Prosecutor can apply for higher services: SC

A public prosecutor, who draws salary from the government, does not cease to be an advocate and he can use his job experience to apply for higher judicial services, the Supreme Court has held, reports DHNS.

The ruling by a three-judge apex court bench presided by Justice R M Lodha would remove a major stumbling block in the way of all those public prosecutors and government pleaders, who could not join the higher judicial services or apply for the post of district judge in view of a Bar Council of India (BCI) rule.

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