The Supreme Court ruled that the right to contest for a seat in either of the two bodies is subject to certain constitutional restrictions.
The challenge in the special leave petition is to an order passed by the High Court of Delhi whereby a writ petition filed by the petitioner claiming a mandamus to decide the candidature of the petitioner to file his nomination for Rajya Sabha Elections 2022, was dismissed.
The petitioner filed a writ petition before Delhi High Court raising a grievance that a notification for election to Rajya Sabha was issued on 12.05.2022 to fill up the seats of members retiring from 21.06.2022 to 01.08.2022. The last date for submission of the nomination was 31.05.2022.
The petitioner contended that he collected nomination form but was not allowed to file his nomination without a proper proposer proposing his name.
The petitioner sought his candidature without proposer which was not accepted and, therefore, he claims that his fundamental right of free speech and expression and right to personal liberty has been infringed.
The division bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia found that the writ petition before the High Court was entirely misconceived and so is the special leave petition. The right to contest an election is neither a fundamental right nor a common law right.
The court said that the petitioner did not have any right to contest election to the Rajya Sabha in terms of the law made by the Parliament.
The court observed that the Representation of People Act, 1950 read with the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 has contemplated the name of a candidate to be proposed while filling the nomination form.
The bench stated that an individual cannot claim that he has a right to contest election and the said stipulation violates his fundamental right, so as to file his nomination without any proposer as is required under the Act.
The court dismissed the present special leave petition with a cost of Rs.1,00,000/-.
Case title: Vishwanath Pratap Singh v/s Election Commission of India & Anr.
Citation: Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (C) No(s).13013/2022