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Delhi HC: Only SC Has Jurisdiction to Hear Petition Challenging Presidential Polls

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president election Law Insider

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: July 22 2022 at 17:26 IST

The Delhi High Court has made the observation that only the Supreme Court can decide a petition challenging a presidential election.

According to Justice Sanjeev Narula, after the results of a presidential election are announced, the sole available remedy is by the way of an election petition. Furthermore, the Supreme Court is has been conferred with the exclusive jurisdiction to hear these matters by Section 14(2) of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act of 1952.

The observation was made while dismissing a petition that was filed on the eve of the 2022 presidential election, seeking for the names of MPs and MLAs to be deleted so they would not be able to vote because they are currently languishing in jail due to pending cases or cases that have been decided against them.

Satvir Singh, a 70-year-old self-employed carpenter who had furnished a nomination form for the purpose of conducting elections for the post of president, filed the plea. However, the Indian Election Commission rejected the same.

In the plea, it was stated that neither the ECI nor the Union of India were taking any effective steps to remove or disqualify such persons (Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies) from the Electoral College to elect various dignitaries, such as the President of India and the Vice President of India, among others.

The Court said dismissing the plea that the petitioner had neither provided a single instance of when a member who was incarcerated or in prison was allowed to vote or act as a member of Parliament or State Legislature, nor had he arrayed such a member as a party.

The petition’s one page averments were called “extremely brief” by the court. It stated that the petitioner did not put much research before approaching the Court.

As a result, the plea was dismissed.