SC declines plea to bar candidates from contesting from more than one seat

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to scrap a rule, which allows candidates to contest from more than one constituency in a general election.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said, “It’s a policy matter…an issue of political democracy”.

The bench, also comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala stressed, “It’s for Parliament to take a call.”

The plea filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay sought to restrict a candidate from contesting from more than one constituency in a general election.

During the hearing, the bench orally told senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayan, representing the petitioner, that the leader of a national party would also want to show his pan-India image and show that I can stand from west, east, north, and south India.

The bench further added that there is nothing wrong with that and there are historical figures who had that kind of popularity, and told the counsel that if Parliament wants to amend it can, and the court will not do it.

The counsel argued that the candidates should be asked to deposit more if they are standing from two constituencies.

The bench noted that candidates may contest from different seats due to a variety of reasons and whether this would further the course of democracy is up to Parliament.

The apex court concluded that permitting a candidate to contest from more than one seat is a matter of legislative policy since ultimately its Parliament’s will on whether the political democracy is furthered by granting such choice.