SC to examine if right to vote distinct from right to contest

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 04, 2013 14:20 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday said it would examine if right to vote was distinct from right to contest an election.

The court also issued notice on the central government's plea seeking the recall of its verdict holding that jail birds could not contest elections as they lost their right to vote during incarceration.

While issuing notice, the apex court bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Sudhanshu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya said that the government's contention that right to vote was distinct from right to contest was not argued at length when it pronounced the verdict barring jail birds from contesting elections.

After the submission by Additional Solicitor General L. Nageshwar Rao, Justice Patnaik observed: "Your legislature has created all this confusion and it does not want to admit and when we interpret then they say we have encroached upon their domain."

"It is very clumsily drafted," observed Justice Patnaik.

"If we don't undertake the constitutional mandate of interpreting the laws, we are told that we are not exercising our jurisdiction and when we do, we are (accused) of exceeding the jurisdiction," said Justice Mukhopadhaya.

"What kind of nonsense it is (distinguishing) elector and voter," Justice Mukhopadhaya said, asking "whether voter and elector are synonymous and if not then what is the definition of voter".

Noting that the elections to state assemblies of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Mizoram were scheduled around November, the court directed the listing of the review petition for final hearing Oct 23.

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