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SC declines permission to EC for LS bypolls

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to grant permission to the Election Commission to hold polls in May for 10 Lok Sabha seats.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 21:52 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to grant permission to the Election Commission to hold polls in May for 10 Lok Sabha seats.

The ten seats fell vacant following expulsion of MPs in the wake of the 'cash-for-query' scam.

A Bench of Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and Justice CK Thakkar observed that the issue whether Parliament has power to expel MPs for reasons other than those contemplated under the Constitution has been referred to a Constitution Bench and allowing the Commission to hold polls to these seats would further complicate the issue.

The court, which had earlier allowed the expelled MPs to continue staying in their official accommodation, directed listing of the Election Commission's application in July.

EC counsel S Murlidhar submitted that according to the constitutional provisions the Commission is bound to hold elections within six months, which expires on June 20.

He said it would be difficult to hold elections to the 10 seats spread over six states in June due to the harsh weather conditions at that time of the year. He was supported by the Centre's counsel as also the Attorney General.

On March 3, the apex court asked the EC not to initiate without its permission the process for filling up the vacancies created by the expulsion of 10 Lok Sabha members.

The court had allowed the Commission to go ahead with the election to the lone Rajya Sabha with the condition that it shall be subject to the outcome of its decision.

Expelled BSP MP Raja Ram Pal has challenged his expulsion in the Supreme Court while the cases of other 10 MPs, including one from the Rajya Sabha, were transferred to the apex court from the Delhi High Court.