ANI Photo | SC stays Bombay HC order to hold Pune Lok Sabha by-election immediately

The Supreme Court on Monday put a stay on the Bombay High Court order that had asked the Election Commission to immediately hold the bypoll for the Pune Lok Sabha seat, which became vacant after the death of MP Girish Bapat.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, while hearing an appeal filed by ECI challenging the Bombay High Court order, said it would lay down the law.
“There shall be a stay on the impugned High Court judgement dated December 13, 2023. We will list it most probably in March or April and thereafter lay down the law,” the bench stated in its order.
It slammed the Election Commission for not holding the by-election for the seat for such a long period despite the law mandating conducting polls expeditiously.
The Pune Lok Sabha seat has been vacant since March 29, 2023, after the death of sitting BJP Member of Parliament Bapat.
“The seat got vacant on March 29, 2023. What has the Election Commission been doing since then? We will lay down guidelines on holding elections on account of vacancies,” the bench said.
The poll panel told the bench that the tenure of the present Lok Sabha is ending on June 16, 2024 and holding the by-election will not serve the purpose in view of the fact that the general elections are also due later this year.
The top court also issued notices to Pune resident Sughosh Joshi and others on the plea of the Election Commission against the December 13, 2023, order of the Bombay High Court.
On December 13, the High Court had asked the Election Commission to immediately hold the by-election for the Pune Lok Sabha seat. It had said that people from the constituency cannot be left unrepresented for a long time.
The High Court order came on a plea filed by Pune resident Sughosh Joshi against a certificate issued by the poll panel that it would not hold the by-election to the constituency. The Election Commission then moved the apex court against the High Court order

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