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SC dismisses plea for stay on Bihar poll
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, October 14
The Supreme Court today rejected a petition for staying of the Bihar elections, filed by one of the petitioners on whose plea the Presidential order for dissolving the state Assembly was struck down by the court earlier by holding it as “unconstitutional”.

Advocate Viplav Sharma, who was one of the three sets of petitioners before the five-judge Constitution Bench, which last week had struck down the Presidential order, moved a petition for stay of the elections on the grounds that when an action of the Central Government had been held “ultra vires” of the Constitution, the automatic relief would be restoration of the Assembly.

A Bench of Ms Justice Ruma Pal and Mr Justice B.N. Srikrishna, while hearing the matter at the residence of the former in view of the ongoing puja holidays in the apex court, dismissed his petition, saying that the order of October 7 on the dissolution issue was passed by a Constitution Bench and it would not like to comment on it.

The Bench, which in a majority view had held the Presidential proclamation of May 23 as unconstitutional, is yet to give a detailed reasoning order.

It had held that in view of the circumstances and facts of the case, the relief of restoring status quo ante could not be given in the present case. Apparently the Bench had taken into account the announcement of the poll process during the pendency of the case.

Mr Sharma in his fresh petition had sought a direction to the Election Commission to revoke its order on announcement of the election schedule.

His main contention was that by the October 7 short order, the Bench had only struck down the May 23 Presidential proclamation which was the subject matter of the dispute in all three sets of petitions decided by it, not the March 7 proclamation keeping the Assembly in suspended animation as no one had challenged it.

He argued that with the apex court order only the May 23 decision of the Centre had gone, not the March 7 decision, therefore, it was but natural that the Assembly was automatically restored to pre-May 23 position as a House in suspended animation.

According to him, when the Assembly was still in existence though in suspended animation, how could the Election Commission order fresh poll.

But the court was not convinced with his arguments and dismissed his petition after a brief hearing.

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