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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Bombay HC questions ECIs decision to not hold Pune by polls due to other election duties

Bombay HC questions ECI's decision to not hold Pune by-polls due to other election duties

Updated on: 11 December,2023 04:03 PM IST  |  Pune
mid-day online correspondent |

Bombay HC questioned ECI's stance on not holding by-election for Pune Lok Sabha. ECI cited their involvement in other national polls, including preparations for 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

Bombay HC questions ECI's decision to not hold Pune by-polls due to other election duties

Bombay High Court/ File Photo

The Bombay High Court, on Monday, questioned the Election Commission of India's stance on not holding a by-election for Pune Lok Sabha. According to the report in PTI, the ECI had told the court that they could not hold the by-poll due to their involvement in other national polls, including preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. 


The HC, according to the PTI, held that their reasoning was "hardly justifiable". 


According to the report, a division bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Kamal Khata expressed concern saying that while such a stance can be understood in places like Manipur where there is physical unrest, it appeared implausible in the case of Pune.


"We understand if they (ECI) say they cannot hold elections in a place like Manipur where there is physical unrest," Justice Patel was quoted as saying in the PTI report. 

Reportedly, the observation was made during the hearing of a petition filed by a Pune resident named Sughosh Joshi questioning the ECI's decision to not hold a by-poll for the vacant Pune Lok Sabha seat following the death of Member of Parliament Girish Bapat on March 29. 

Reportedly, the HC had last week asked the ECI for clarification on its willingness to hold by-polls in the constituency. 

The ECI, represented by advocate Pradeep Rajagopal, cited ongoing polls and preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as reasons for being unable to hold the by-elections at this time, emphasising that even if held now, the term for the post would end within a year.

Kushal Mor, the petitioner's counsel, argued that after the vacancy in the Pune constituency arose, by-elections were held in other constituencies. The petitioner's counsel was quoted as saying, "The by-elections in the other constituencies were held after the vacancy arose in the Pune constituency." Mor was directed by the bench to present these details in an affidavit, and a hearing was set for December 13.

Joshi, who was represented by advocates Dayaar Singla and Shraddha Swarup, cited section 151A of the Representation of People Act, stating that vacancies should be filled through a by-election within six months. Joshi claimed that the lack of representation in Parliament has hampered vital development projects in Pune. He said not holding the by-poll violates the electorate's right.

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