HC seeks reasons for postponing RS poll

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to file a a statement disclosing the reasons for postponing the elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats from the State which will fall vacant on April 21.

Justice P.V. Asha issued the directive on petitions filed by S. Sarma, MLA, and Kerala Legislative Assembly Secretary challenging the ECI’s decision to keep in abeyance the proceedings for the proposed election.

When the petition came up for hearing, counsel for the petitioners contended that the ECI had not stated the reasons or extraordinary circumstances for keeping the election proceeding in abeyance. There was a total lack of transparency in the ECI’s decision to postpone the election.

Counsel for the ECI submitted that the notification would be issued before April 21. The election schedule would be announced in the notification and the ECI would act within the time frame stipulated by the Representation of the People Act. There was no legal bar on conducting an election even after the members retired.

The ECI informed the court last time that the election would be held during the tenure of the present Assembly. The term of the Assembly would end on June 2.

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