SC to hear in July plea for bar on contesting from two seats

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New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed for listing in the first week of July for final hearing a public suit that sought to bar candidates from simultaneously contesting from two constituencies.

Earlier, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the court that he would like to assist it in the hearing on the plea.

He also told the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that he needed time to file his response to the plea.

Giving him time and directing the completion of the pleadings, the court directed that the matter be listed in July when it re-opens after the summer vacations.

By its December 11, 2017, order, the court had asked petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay to serve a petition copy on the Attorney General so that the court can get his assistance.

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Upadhyay is Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit spokesman.

The court on Wednesday took on record the Election Commission’s affidavit filed in December 2017 that a candidate should not contest from two constituencies.

Upadhyay has challenged Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act that allows a person to simultaneously contest elections for Parliament and state assemblies from two constituencies.

Section 33[(7) says that “… , a person shall not be nominated as a candidate for election,” (a) in the case of a general election to the House of the People …, from more than two Parliamentary constituencies.”

Many politicians contest from more than one constituency and then give up one seat if they get elected from both.

Before he became the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi too contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Vadodara in Gujarat. He won both, but eventually gave up the Vadodara seat.

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