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SC Declines to Hear Plea Challenging Constitutionality of Presidential Election Process

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president election Law Insider

Shivani Thakur

Published on: June 30, 2022, at 20:41 IST

The Supreme Court declined to hear two separate arguments contesting the legality of a rule requiring at least 50 MPs or MLAs to endorse a candidate for election as president as proposers and seconders, respectively. The court stated that filing such cases during an election is not a “healthy practice.”

The petitioners alleged that the provisions, especially Section Section 5B (1)(a) of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, bars a person from contesting the presidential polls if the candidature is not signed by 50 lawmakers as proposers and 50 as seconders respectively.

The Bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala described Nowhattia, who filed the petition and has been trying unsuccessfully to run for president since 2007, as a “seasonal activist” who only gets up once every five years to run for office.

The Bench requested that Nowhattia’s attorney withdraw the petition, stating that it might address the legal issue “at an opportune moment when there is no issue pending” and that it was not afraid to make a decision today if the petitioner did not wish to do so.

We will not keep it pending. If you want then we will decide today. We are not scared. We are not reluctant and we are not hesitant in deciding. We will decide it today,” it said.

Your first representation was in 2007 and for the next five years, you were in some kind of hiding. Whenever the presidential election comes then you become active and that is why, I said that he is a seasonal activist,” Justice Surya Kant said.

The Bench said, adding it would impose exemplary cost if such petitions are pressed to be heard.

You do not file these kinds of petitions only at a particular point of time. This is not a healthy practice that once the election is announced you become an activist…,” it said while refusing to entertain the petition.

In the second petition, Reddy alleged that he had not been allowed to file the nomination papers for the presidential polls by the returning officer at the Lok Sabha.

it is undeniable that the nomination papers sought to be submitted by the petitioner are not in conformity with Section 5 B (1) (a) of the 1952 Act.In view of the matter, the rejection of the nomination form of the petitioner does not suffer with any legal infirmity and no case of interference of this court is made out,” it said in the order.

Incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to demit office on July 25.