While the leading constitutional expert of Jammu & Kashmir holds the view that Election Commission of India (ECI) has a constitutional compulsion to defer the election for four Rajaya Sabha seats that have fallen vacant this month, the top government official while referring to a supreme court ruling say that there is no bar on the newly elected MLAs yet to take oath in the assembly from participating in the Rajaya Sabha elections for four Rajaya Sabha seats on February 7 this year.
When contacted leading constitutional expert and senior Advocate J&K High Court Zaffar Ahmad Shah said “ After the imposition of governor’s rule the suspension of the assembly and inability of newly elected MLAs’ of legislative assembly has left no other option for the Election Commission of India except to defer the Rajaya Sabha elections for four Rajaya Sabha seats which have fallen vacant this month (January). No newly elected MLA can cast vote in the elections for four Rajaya Sabha seats till the time the governor’s rule is revoked, new government is formed and new MLAs take oath”.
Contradicting Shah’s argument on right to vote of the newly elected MLAs in the elections for four Rajaya Sabha seat a top state government official wishing anonymity told Kashmir News Service (KNS) “ It is a fact that without taking oath the newly elected MLAs can’t take part in any legislative business of the assembly but there is a supreme court judgment which clearly specifies that MLAs can caste their votes in the elections for Rajaya Sabha seats. Since the Election Commission Of India (ECI) has made special reference to the said Supreme court verdict in the notification issued for the conduct of the elections of four Rajaya Sabha seats on February 7 , So there is no constitutional compulsion for the Election Commission of India ((ECI) to defer the elections till the revocation of governor’s rule and takeover of a new popular government in the state”.