Free Press Journal

HC refuses to put Delhi assembly elections on hold



New Delhi: Delhi High Court today declined to put on hold the February 7 assembly election on a plea alleging that no public notice was issued with regard to last dates of filing nominations which barred many persons from contesting the polls.

“The prayer asked for in this petition cannot be granted,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said, adding that the dates were “notified” by the poll panel on time.

The order came during the hearing of a petition, filed by Rashtra Nirman Party (RNP), seeking court’s direction to conduct the polls only after proper procedure as per rules was followed, “so that the public money is not wasted while conducting the election improperly”.

Advocate S N Gupta, appearing for the petitioner, said that Election Commission of India (ECI) and Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi has failed to follow the legal procedure as “there is lack of proper public notice” also in regard to the name of the returning officer.

He alleged that the election has been announced in haste. “The announcement should have been well before in time, so that the notification could have been published well before. The public notice may be given and that too a proper notice regarding the date of election inviting nomination and specifying whether the nomination papers could be delivered,” the petition said.

It said “these elections are to be held in haste and has become a deterrent for independent candidates and for the registered party from contesting election which cannot be the intention of the legislature and it is against the norms of democracy.”

The party, which had earlier contested polls in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, said as they had intended to contest the upcoming Delhi polls, they had filed an application in December 2014 before ECI requesting that a symbol may be reserved for them. But the request was declined through a January 8-9 letter.