New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea of Gujarat Congress leader Pareshbhai Dhanani challenging the decision of the Election Commission to hold separate by polls for two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in the state.
Notably, two Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat fell vacant due to the election of Amit Shah and Smriti Irani to the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi respectively.
The top court reportedly said that the only way to challenge the election is to approach the poll panel and file an election petition. The Congress party had demanded that the bypolls to the two vacant seats in Gujarat be held together as it felt that it could win one of the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Shah and Irani.
Last week, the Supreme Court had sought a response from the EC by June 24 on a plea of the Gujarat Congress.
Earlier on June 15, the Election Commission had announced bypolls to six Rajya Sabha seats — Gujarat (2), Bihar (2), Odisha (2) on July 5. In a statement, the commission had clarified that the vacancies for bypolls to all Houses, including the Rajya Sabha, are considered “separate vacancies” and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same.
It cited two Delhi High Court rulings of 1994 and 2009 which had supported the system of holding separate bypolls in the same state under provisions of the Representation of the People Act.