Centre opposes PIL in Supreme Court barring candidates from contesting election from more than one constituency

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The Centre has opposed in the Supreme Court a PIL for barring candidates from contesting from more than one constituency in a general election. In an affidavit, filed by Deputy Secretary with the Ministry of Law and Justice, KK Saxena, the government said, the plea failed to establish that fundamental rights of citizens were being infringed upon in any way.

The affidavit, which would be considered by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said a person has been allowed under the Representative of Peoples Act to contest election from two constituencies simultaneously and the law has to be amended for disallowing the same.

The PIL, filed by BJP leader Ashwani Upadhyay, had sought directions to the authorities to take appropriate steps to discourage independent candidates from contesting Parliamentary and state Assembly elections as suggested by the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution. It had said, the question of independent candidates is often connected with the issue of fragmented voting and instability in the electoral system.

The Election Commission, in its affidavit in December last year, had quoted its 2004 proposals on electoral reforms and said that the law should be amended to ensure that a person cannot contest from more than one seat.

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