SC seeks EC's response on Gujarat Cong plea
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Election Commission by June 24 on a plea of the Gujarat Congress, challenging the poll panel's decision to hold separate bypolls to two Rajya Sabha seats in the state.
A vacation bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant listed the matter for hearing on June 25, saying the issue required to be heard.
The bench said, "It is not an issue which can be taken up through an election petition and therefore, requires to be heard."
Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, appearing for the Gujarat Congress, said there were judgments of the Delhi High court which were in their favour.
To this, the bench said, "We are not saying anything for now. We need to decide whether it is a casual vacancy or a statutory vacancy. This matter requires a hearing."
The petition was filed by Congress MLA from Amreli and Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly, Pareshbhai Dhanani.
The Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant following the election of BJP chief Amit Shah and Union minister Smriti Irani to the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi, respectively.
The Election Commission clarified that the vacancies for bypolls to all Houses, including the Rajya Sabha, are considered "separate vacancies" and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same. See P6