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SC notice to EC on Congress plea opposing separate polls for 2 Gujarat Rajya Sabha seats

The court issued notices to the EC on Wednesday to formally place before the court its stand on the issue.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 20, 2019, 07.40 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has sought the Election Commission’s response on a petition filed by Congress challenging its decision to hold separate elections for two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat.

The court issued notices to the EC on Wednesday to formally place before the court its stand on the issue.

In a notification issued recently announcing polls to fill six Rajya Sabha seats across the country, the EC said elections for two seats in Gujarat — vacated by BJP chief Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani — will be held separately but on the same day, July 5.

The EC justified its decision, saying each seat is a separate vacancy by itself. But Gujarat Congress legislature party leader Paresh Dhanani challenged this in the SC through a petition under Article 32, terming the EC’s decision discriminatory and arguing that it has affected his right to equality granted under Article 14 of the Constitution. His case was argued by senior advocate Vivek Tankha.

Dhanani claimed that the elections must be held together for all vacant seats at a point of time as holding them seat-wise would render the principle of proportional representation by a single transferable vote ineffective.

The EC was directed to place its views before the court by June 24.

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