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Appeal for early conduct of Sangrur seat by-poll, HC Advocate writes to ECI
Cites forthcoming 16th Presidential Election 2022 wherein all elected MPs & MLAs comprise Electoral College
Chandigarh, May 15, 2022: Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate Hemant Kumar has written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) including Rajiv Kumar, erstwhile Election Commissioner to take an urgent call about the conduct of Bye-Election to Sangrur Lok Sabha Seat in the State of Punjab as well as two other Lok Sabha Seats- Azamgarh and Rampur in the State of Uttar Pradesh so that the newly elected MPs from these three Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs), which are vacant as on date, can also cast Vote in upcoming 16th Presidential Election for the election of 15th President of India.
"It has been two months since incumbent Chief Minister of Punjab, Bhagwant Mann, resigned as Member of Parliament (MP) from Sangrur Lok Sabha Seat, from where he was re-elected in May, 2019 during General Elections to 17th Lok Sabha. Earlier, during the whole tenure of 16th Lok Sabha, Mann remained Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur. Since in current 16th Punjab Legislative Assembly General Elections, Mann also got elected as MLA from Dhuri Assembly Constituency (AC) falling within Sangrur's Parliamentary Constituency (PC) and after being elected as Chief Minister of Punjab, he had to resign as MP from Sangrur Lok Sabha Seat which he did on 14 March 2022," stated Advocate Hemant Kumar.
"The ECI is scheduled to announce the Election/Poll Schedule for conduct of 16th Presidential Election, 2022 in June, 2022 since the tenure of the present incumbent i.e. 14th President of India Ram Nath Kovind is till 24th July, 2022 and as such the new incumbent i.e. 15th President of India would take over as such with effect from 25th July 2022 and hence the entire poll exercise for election of new President of India would be completed by ECI before ibid date," he added.
Hemant asserted that since as per Article 54 of Constitution of India, the President of India shall be elected by the members of an Electoral College consisting of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States including of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi and Union Territory (UT) of Puducherry, hence it must be ensured by the ECI that all seats of elected members (MPs/MLAs) in above Electoral College are filled up, as far as possible, before the scheduled date of Polling for 16th Presidential Elections, 2022 which would be in early July, 2022 of course provided if there arises a need for Polling i.e. if there are more than one candidate in the electoral fray.
"Although as per Section 151A of Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951 the bye-election to casual vacancy should be conducted by Election Commission of India (ECI) within a period of six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy so in respect of above three PCs viz. Sangrur, Azamgarh and Rampur, the Bye-Election can be conducted by ECI till mid- September, 2022, but the point is that if early Bye-Poll is conducted in aforementioned three PCs i.e. before date of Polling in respect of 16th Presidential Election, 2022 as scheduled in July, 2022, then the there newly elected MPs from ibid three Lok Sabha Seats would also get a chance to cast Vote in such Election," Hemant wrote in the letter to ECI.