New Delhi, Oct. 13: In a development that has again put a question mark on the Bihar Assembly polls, the Supreme Court has listed for hearing a petition seeking to cancel the elections.
The petition is likely to be heard before the first vote is cast on October 18, subject to the directives of Chief Justice R.C. Lahoti.
Supreme Court counsel Viplav Sharma, a petitioner before the five-judge Constitution bench that recently held the dissolution of the Assembly “unconstitutional”, today moved the apex court with a fresh petition seeking cancellation of the elections.
He argued that once the dissolution has been declared “unconstitutional, the Assembly thereby has automatically been revived and no fresh election for constituting another new Assembly is warranted”.
The five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Y.K. Sabharwal had held that the dissolution was wrong but said, due to the “peculiar facts and circumstances” of the case, a “status quo ante restoring” the dissolved Assembly was not necessary.
Sharma stated in his petition that in the S.R. Bommai case, a nine-judge bench had decided that once an action of dissolution was found “unconstitutional”, fresh elections should be stopped.
Sharma also contended in the petition that the judges had queried “what would happen if the dissolution were struck down”. To this, attorney-general Milon Banerjee and additional solicitor-general Gopal Subramanian replied that “in that eventuality”, fresh polls would be “automatically” annulled notwithstanding the “formal notification of the Election Commission”.
The logical extension of this, according to Sharma “is that the dissolved Assembly gets revived”.