February 17, 2021 3:44:28 am
Adjudging that “the purity of the election process was irretrievably sullied” on February 13 at the office of returning officer at Palitana in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, when mandate forms of 36 Congress candidates were allegedly torn minutes before the submission deadline by “hooligans”, the Gujarat High Court termed it as a “systemic attack” while disposing of the matter.
The judgment, pronounced on Monday and made public on Tuesday, concluded that the State Election Commission (SEC) cannot be a “silent spectator”, given the circumstances of the “unruly event”.
“The object of providing a State Election Machinery is… to ensure purity in the electoral process. In a contingency of this nature, could it be said that the State Election Commission is helpless and has to be a silent spectator? To our mind, the State Election Commission is not without power to remedy the situation,” the division bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and Ilesh Vora noted.
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