SC rejects Cong plea against separate Rajya Sabha bypolls in Gujarat

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a plea by the Gujarat Congress challenging the Election Commission’s decision to hold separate bypolls to two Rajya Sabha seats in the state.

The court said it won’t interfere with the Election Commission’s decision since the poll panel has stated that the two vacancies were classified under “casual” vacancies, and that there was no law that said separate elections shouldn’t be held for them.

However, a vacation bench comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice B R Gavai, granted liberty to the Gujarat Congress to file an election petition after conclusion of polls to the two Rajya Sabha seats vacated by Union Ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani. An election petition is a procedure to call into question the election results of parliamentary, assembly, or local elections.

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The plea was filed by Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Pareshbhai Dhanani.

The two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant after Amit Shah and Smriti Irani got elected to the Lok Sabha from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar and Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, respectively. Their terms were supposed to end in August 2023.

One seat had been guaranteed for the BJP and one for the Congress if the polls had taken place simultaneously.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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