Annulment of Election of MLA
- 13 May 2020
- 6 min read
Why in News
The Gujarat High Court has set aside the election of a BJP leader in 2017 on grounds of “corrupt practice” and “manipulation of record”.
- The order passed on a petition, filed by the opposing Congress candidate, alleged that the returning officer had illegally rejected 429 votes received via postal ballot.
- The Court held election as void under Section 100(1)(d)(iv) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
- The observation gains relevance since the number of rejected votes (429) was more than the victory margin (327).
- The judgment also held that the instructions of the Election Commission was not followed, giving an unfair advantage to the winning candidate and thus materially affecting the election.
Election to the State Legislature
- The Constitution of India as well as the Parliament of India has laid down qualifications and disqualifications for being elected as a member of State Legislative Assembly and State Legislative Council.
- We can study about various provisions on the same in the table given below.
Note: On the question of whether a member has become subject to any of the above disqualifications, the governor’s decision is final. However, he should obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and act accordingly.
- The Constitution lays down that no election to the Parliament or the state legislature is to be questioned except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as provided by the appropriate legislature.
- Since 1966, the election petitions are triable by High Courts alone. Whereas the appellate jurisdiction lies with the Supreme Court alone.
- Article 323 B empowers the appropriate legislature (Parliament or a state legislature) to establish a tribunal for the adjudication of election disputes.
- It also provides for the exclusion of the jurisdiction of all courts (except the special leave appeal jurisdiction of the Supreme Court) in such disputes.
- So far, no such tribunal has been established.
- In Chandra Kumar case (1997), the clause of the exclusion of the jurisdiction of all courts in election disputes was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
- Consequently, if at any time an election tribunal is established, an appeal from its decision lies to the high court.