SrinagarThe Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday granted two weeks time to Indian Home Ministry to a petition, seeking by-election to Anantnag parliamentary seat which was vacated by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
A single bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan sought the response within two weeks after Assistant Solicitor General of India Tahir Majid Shamshi (ASGI) prayed that some more time be granted for filling the reply. He said that MHAs reply was very important.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Ghulam Mohammad Wani of Pulwama, one of the candidates in fray for the bypoll before it was rescinded by the ECI due to law and order situation in the south Kashmir.
Seven candidates were in the fray when the ECI in May this year rescinded the by-poll to fulfil the seat which fell vacant after Mehbooba Mufti resigned from the Parliament to become the Chief Minister of the state last year.
The main contest was expected between ruling PDP candidate Mufti Tassaduq Hussain and state Congress chief G A Mir. The ECI has to issue a new notification inviting nominations as and when the election takes place.
Wani, a candidate of All J&K Kissan Mazdoor Party, has challenged the inaction on part of the authorities to conduct the parliamentary by-elections. He said that more than a year has passed since the vacancy was created but the election are not been conducted.
The inaction of the respondents have denied the sizable population of their basic right of participation in democracy and denied the petitioner of his right to contest for house of people. Respondents have failed to follow the procedure laid by the law on the point, relevant section of the representation of peoples Act 1951, he submits.
Wani submitted that the By-election for the vacancy should been conducted with the period of 6 months from the date of vacancy. House of people still has two more years as per its term and there has been no consultation with the central Government regarding respondent (ECIs) difficulty in holding by-elections within such constituencies, he says in the petition.
The ECI had deferred the by-election which was scheduled on May 25, reasoning that free and fair poll is not possible due to prevailing ground situation and non-availability of sufficient security forces.
In its order, the three-member Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi rescinded the notification for the election after reports from the J&K government and States Chief Electoral Officer that there has been no noticeable improvement in the law and order situation in Anantnag parliamentary constituency.
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