Published on: 13 September 2022 at 19:04 IST
The Apex Court observed the previous week that an individual cannot claim the right to contest elections while dismissing a plea and imposing a cost of Rs. 1 lakh on the litigant who sought to contest the Rajya Sabha elections without a proposer to propose his name. [Vishwanath Pratap Singh vs. Election Commission of India]
The right to contest an election was neither a fundamental right nor a common law right, but a right conferred by a statute, as reiterated by Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
The Court by this dismissal upheld the fact that the requirements under the Representation of People Act, 1950 and Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 for the proposal of the candidate’s name while filing a nomination are not violative of his fundamental rights.
“We find that the writ petition before the High Court was entirely misconceived and so is the present special leave petition,” the order said.
The petitioner claimed the last date for submission was May 31st, as per the Rajya Sabha’s notification of May 12, 2022, for the filling up of seats of retiring members. Hence, the petitioner’s name was not proposed.
The Delhi High Court rejected this claim. For this, the petitioner approached the Top Court, claiming the violation of fundamental rights to free speech and expression and the right to personal liberty.
The Court referred to the judgement in the case of Rajbala v. State of Haryana, where it was held that the right to contest for a seat in either the Lok Sabha or the Legislative Assembly was conditioned by constitutional restrictions and could be restricted by a law made by the parliament.
Therefore, the plea was dismissed and the cost of Rs. 1 lakh is to be paid in the next four weeks to the Supreme Court’s Legal Aid Committee.