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Admin Reporter- Ajay

May 15 2019


Legal Advice From EC On Assembly Elections In Kashmir

Delhi,15,May,2019

 

Former Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh has told the Election Commission that according to the Supreme Court judgment given in the context of the President's rule in 2002, he should immediately start the process of elections in Jammu and Kashmir, provided that there are conditions for conducting free and fair elections. Be there Singh has advised the Commission that according to Article 324 (6), only the Election Commission has the right to take this decision. He had sought legal opinion of Singh on 'Presidential rule in Jammu and Kashmir'.

 

 

 

The Jammu and Kashmir government and the Home Ministry have expressed their inability to provide adequate security forces for the forthcoming assembly elections in written reply to the Commission. Although the provision of article 324 says 6, "Whenever the request is made by the EC, then the President or the Governor will have to provide as many staff as the Election Commission will need."

 

 

 

In a 2002 judgment of the Supreme Court, referring to Article 324, it was said, "Whether it is possible to complete an independent and impartial election, the Election Commission should assess it by keeping all aspects in mind. He should always try to hold elections, not to avoid it.

 

 

 

The ET had printed on April 29 that the commission had appointed three observers in March to ascertain the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir. After discussions with all the political parties and officials, he suggested to hold assembly elections in the state after the Lok Sabha elections. Although the Ministry of Home Affairs and the State Administration had held a meeting with the Commission on April 26, the motion was proposed to be held in September and October, citing the tourists season, Ramzan and the Amarnath Yatra which begins on July 1.

 

 

 

Since the fall of PDP and BJP coalition government in June 2018, there is no elected government in Jammu and Kashmir. In the state, the governor's rule was enacted on June 19, 2018, and after six months, i.e., the President's rule was implemented on December 19, 2018. If the EC declares in writing to the government that there is no favorable situation in the state, then the new Lok Sabha can increase the President's rule there on June 20, 2019. While declaring the Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission felt that it would require a large number of security forces to hold assembly elections in the state. There are a total of 87 assembly seats in the state and 8-10 candidates are in the fray for every seat. According to estimates, only these candidates will need 150-200 companies of security forces.

 

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