The Election Commission has told the Supreme Court that it supports the proposal to allow one candidate to contest from only one constituency in an election.
The EC expressed this view in an affidavit it filed in the petition over the matter.
The Supreme Court had in December 2017 issued notices seeking replies from the Election Commission and the Centre on the issue.
At the time, the Supreme Court had said the practice of one candidate contesting multiple seats was a drain on the exchequer since it necessitated bypolls.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 that allows a person to contest elections to Parliament and state assemblies from two constituencies and sought an end to the practice.
What’s the issue?
Political parties across the country field senior leaders from more than one seat in a bid to ensure victory.
If they win from multiple seats, these leader are then required to vacate other seats and continue to hold only one.
This means a general election is usually followed closely by a bye-election to the seats that have been vacated.
What issection 33(7) of RPA?
Section 33(7) of the Representation of People’s Act permits a candidate to contest any election (Parliamentary, State Assembly, Biennial Council, or bye-elections) from up to two constituencies.
The provision was introduced in 1996 prior to which there was no bar on the number of constituencies from which a candidate could contest.
Why should candidates be barred from contesting from more than one seat?
One person, one vote & one candidate, one constituency is the dictum of democracy.
However, as per the law, as it stands today, a person can contest the election for the same office from two constituencies simultaneously.
When a candidate contests from two seats, it is imperative that he has to vacate one of the two seats if he wins both.
This, apart from the consequent unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding bye-election is also an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting from.
What is thealternative suggested by the Election commission?
The ECI has alternatively suggested that if existing provisions are retained then the candidate contesting from two seats should bear the cost of the bye-election to the seat that the contestant decides to vacate in the event of his/her winning both seats.
The amount in such an event could be Rs 5 lakh for assembly election and Rs 10 lakh for parliament election.
G.S. Paper 2,3
Why in news?
Kerala was put on high alert as Nipah Virus (NiV) infection was detected for the first time in the state.
Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly-emerging zoonosis (a disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals) that causes severe disease in both animals and humans.
The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.
The viruses jump the species barrier and infect a secondary animal host.
The transmission takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs, or from other NiV-infected people.
People have been also cautioned that they should not consume fruits that have fallen on to the ground.
NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis.
NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals.
Nipah virus primarily causes an encephalitic syndrome with a high mortality rate.
The characteristic MRI abnormalities are multiple, small (less than 5 mm), asymmetric focal lesions in the subcortical and deep white matter without surrounding edema.
There is no vaccine for either humans or animals.
The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care
Nipah virus infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to sick pigs and bats in endemic areas.
It is advisable to not drink raw date palm sap and not consume fruits that have fallen from trees.