Decision on Rajya Sabha polls soon, EC tells High Court

Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court

Kochi: A decision on conducting the polls to the three vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Kerala will be made soon, the Election Commission of India (EC) said in a written submission to the High Court.

Though the counsel for EC said the election would be conducted during the term of the present Assembly itself, the advocate later retracted the statement. 

Justice P V Asha will consider the case on Monday. The case was filed by Kerala Assembly secretary and S Sharma, MLA, against the EC decision to keep the Rajya Sabha polls in abeyance. The petitioners requested the court to ensure the MLAs right to elect the Rajya Sabha members. 

Though the EC had on March 17 issued a press release on the Rajya Sabha polls, it decided to keep the election in abeyance following a reference by the Law Ministry.

The seats will fall vacant on April 21 following the retirement of Vayalar Ravi of the Congress, K K Ragesh of CPM and P V Abdul Wahab of the Indian Union Muslim Union.

The court took on record the EC’s reiterated explanation that the polls would be conducted in a time-bound manner, as required by sections 12 and 30 of the Representation of the People Act.

Sections 12, 30 of the Representation of the People Act

Section 12 of the Representation of the People Act calls for the election notification three months before the retirement of a Rajya Sabha member. Section 30 deals with the filing of nomination papers, scrutiny, and withdrawal of nomination papers, polling and the completion of the election process within a stipulated time-frame.  

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