Vivid News 24: On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected a request from BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay to prohibit candidates from running for the same job in two seats at once. A court made up of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), DY Chandrachud, and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala opined that allowing candidates to run for more than one seat would encourage them to attempt to become leaders of all of India.
A political figure might try to run as a leader for all of India, the CJI said. Relevantly, the Court ruled that running for office from more than one seat was not illegal because it was a matter of legislative policy. The Court ruled that it was a matter of legislative policy to allow candidates to run for more than one seat in an assembly election since it was up to the parliament to decide whether doing so would advance parliamentary democracy.
Through his petition, Upadhyay asked the Central Government and the Election Commission of India (ECI) for guidance on how to prevent candidates from running for the same office in multiple seats. The argument was based on the fact that on July 5, 2004, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) pleaded with the prime minister to change section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) so that candidates could run in two constituencies.
In its 255th report, the Law Commission also recommended amending Section 33(7) to prohibit candidates from running for more than one seat. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, a senior attorney who was representing Upadhyay, urged the court to take into account the effects that allowing candidates to run for office from more than one district would have on voters and the public coffers. He argued that it was against Articles 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution to allow leaders to contest in two seats.
“You cannot be certain that you will be elected from both seats when you run for two. There are many reasons why this is done. What is incorrect with it? Political democracy exists here “CJI Chandrachud made a comment. “You should think about the impact on the electorate or the public coffers. It violates Article 19 and Article 21 “said Sankaranarayanan. However, the Chief Justice of India stated that the Parliament, not the Supreme Court, would decide on the matter.
“There is absolutely no constitutional immorality. There have been occasions in history, “Judge Narasimha commented. The Court continued, stating that even though allowing a candidate to run for several seats would necessitate a bye-election if he won in both seats, draining the public coffers, the issue was clearly within the purview of the legislative branch.
“Multiple seat contests can occur for a variety of reasons, some of which will weigh more heavily than others. It is up to the legislature to decide whether multiple seat contests advance parliamentary democracy. It is not the responsibility of this Court to declare a provision unlawful if there is no obvious arbitrariness or other breach of Articles 14 and 21. This matter is under the purview of parliamentary authority “the Judge commanded.