Gujarat Rajya Sabha bypolls: SC issues notice to EC on Congress plea; next hearing on June 25https://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-gujarat-rajya-sabha-bypolls-election-commission-congress-5788018/

Gujarat Rajya Sabha bypolls: SC issues notice to EC on Congress plea; next hearing on June 25

The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Election Commission by June 24 and listed the matter for hearing on June 25. The elections are scheduled on July 5.

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The poll panel, in a statement on June 15, had declared that the election for both the Rajya Sabha seats will be held on July 5.  (File photo)

The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice to the Election Commission on a plea filed by the Gujarat unit of the Congress challenging the poll panel’s decision to hold separate bypolls for the two Rajya Sabha seats, which fell vacant due to the election of Amit Shah and Smriti Irani to the Lok Sabha.

The bench has sought a response from the EC by June 24 and listed the matter for hearing on June 25. The elections are scheduled on July 5. The bench was quoted as saying by news agency PTI, “It is not an issue which can be taken up through an election petition and therefore, requires to be heard.”

The petition was filed by Gujarat Leader of Opposition Pareshbhai Dhanani before a vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant. He sought urgent hearing of the matter.

Explained: Why Congress has gone to SC, how these polls are ‘separate’

The seats fell vacant after Shah and Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha from the Gandhinagar and Amethi constituencies respectively. Their terms were to end in August 2023. Both the leaders took oath as members of the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The poll panel, in a statement on June 15, had declared that the election for both the Rajya Sabha seats will be held on July 5. It clarified that the bypolls to all Houses, including Rajya Sabha, are considered “separate vacancies” and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same.