EC supports plea to restrain candidates from contesting on 2 seats

EC supports plea to restrain candidates from contesting on 2 seats

The Election Commission has supported before the Supreme Court a plea for restraining candidates from contesting Parliament or state Assembly poll from more than one constituency.

"There have been several cases where a person contests election from two constituencies and wins from both, in such a situation he vacates the seat in one of the two constituencies. The consequence is that a by-election would be required involving avoidable labour and expenditure,"  it said.

"The commission is of the view that the law should be amended to provide that a person cannot contest from more than one constituency at a time," the poll panel said.

In an affidavit to the apex court on a PIL filed by Delhi BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, the EC submitted that it has given this proposal way back in 2004.

It said the amount of Rs 5 lakh for state Assembly and Rs 10 lakh for a Lok Sabha seat which was then suggested for a candidate to deposit for contesting on two seats as expenditure for holding byelection in case he wins from the two seats and subsequently vacates one, should be enhanced "appropriately and proportionately".

The EC also cited the Law Commission's 255 th report recommending an  amendment to Section 33 (7) of the Representation of People Act, which permitted a candidate to contest from two seats, in view of expenditure of time and effort, election fatigue and the harassment caused to the voters.

The apex court, which took up Upadhyay's PIL for consideration, granted time to the central government to file its response.

The court posted the matter for consideration in the first week of July.

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