The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the election of chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to the state legislative council. Chavan had won the seat unopposed as the opposition parties had not fielded any candidates against him.
A bench of justice R M Lodha and justice HL Gokhale dismissed Shiv Sena MLC Anil Dattatray Parab’s petition challenging the Election Commission’s decision to hold the election.
Parab had petitioned before the SC, claiming the commission could not have held the poll as election of Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt from the seat was already pending before the Bombay High Court. Dutt had vacated his council seat for Chavan, even as his election was under challenge.
Though Parab had approached the SC challenging the high court’s order to give the green signal to the election, the apex court had on April 26 refused to stay it. Thereafter, the election took place on May 4, as scheduled.
Chavan, earlier a Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), had replaced Ashok Chavan as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on November 11 last. He was required to get elected to either House of the State Legislature on or before May 11, 2011.
Parab, in his appeal, criticized the High Court order on the ground it had failed to consider a prior SC verdict holding a casual vacancy could not be filled when election petitions were pending in court.