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Legal to hold Rajya Sabha election after new House takes oath: Election Commission to Kerala HC

It added that the Rajya Sabha election schedule would be notified before the expiry of the term of the state’s Upper House members from these seats on April 21.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: April 10, 2021 2:55:09 am
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The Election Commission Friday told the Kerala High Court that it would be constitutional to announce the election for the state’s three Rajya Sabha seats after its new Legislative Assembly is formed, as per the legal opinion it had received.

It added that the Rajya Sabha election schedule would be notified before the expiry of the term of the state’s Upper House members from these seats on April 21.

Earlier this week, the bench of Justice P V Asha directed the EC to furnish a statement on why it had kept in abeyance its earlier notification to conduct elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats.

The issue came up before the High Court after CPI (M) legislator S Sharma challenged the EC decision. Sharma said the poll panel’s move would deny legislators of the current Assembly their right to vote.

The statement submitted by the commission’s standing counsel, Deepu Lal Mohan, said the EC is not concerned with the question of which Legislative Assembly votes for the Rajya Sabha elections.

While the date of expiration of the current Assembly’s term may be a relevant factor for consideration, it cannot be the sole basis for determining the schedule, it said.

The EC said on March 23 that the Union Law Ministry had advised that “if the elections (RS) are held on 12th April, as suggested, the popular will, which is already recorded in the ballot box consequent to the Assembly Elections already held on 6th April, it may not reflect the will of the people”.

In view of the above, the Ministry urged the poll commission to revisit the issue.

And vonsidering the issue of propriety raised by the Law Ministry, the commission decided to keep in abeyance the publication of notification for the election of three RS members from Kerala.

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