Petition against whip on Rajya Sabha polls
Bhopal, March 24 (IANS): A Bhopal resident has petitioned the Election Commission of India against whips given by political parties in elections to the Rajya Sabha.
Three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh are falling vacant next month and elections to them are slated for March 28. The Samajwadi Party, which has eight legislators, has issued a whip in favour of a Congress-supported Independent candidate, Vivek Tankha.
"The issue of whip with regard to elections to the Rajya Sabha amounts to the offence of undue influence within the meaning of section 171(C) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)," Arun Dixit has said in his petition to the Election Commission.
"It has been clarified by the Supreme Court in the Kuldip Nayyar vs Union of India (2006) 7 SCC I as well as in Pashupati Nath Sukul vs Nem Chandra Jain (1984) 2 SCC 404 that elections to the Rajya Sabha by state legislative assemblies are a non-legislative activity and not a proceeding within the state legislature," the petitioner has said.
The petition adds: "In both the above cases the Supreme Court has said clearly that provisions of the 10th Schedule to the Constitution will not apply to the elections to the Rajya Sabha."
The petitioner has urged the poll panel to issue appropriate clarifications, instructions and directions to all political parties to desist from issuing any whip with regards to the elections to the Rajya Sabha and issue suitable orders declaring any whip issued by any political party as null and void.
The petitioner has also requested the Election Commission to take suitable steps for initiating legal action against all those who have committed or are intending to commit the "criminal offence" of unduly influencing elections by issuing whip.