Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Some of the defeated candidates including media heavyweight Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and popular Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra have filed election petitions in Orissa High Court. With this a new farce with very remote possibility of conclusion has commenced.
We have in these pages been insisting that the Supreme Court should come forward to constitute a separate election bench for exclusive hearing and timely disposal of election cases, binding the High Courts to create such exclusive benches at their end, so that the houses of people’s representative are helped to get rid of manipulators of elections, if any, as pointed out in entertained election petitions, without being affected by illegitimate members. But it has remained a cry in wilderness.
The result is, election cases have become de facto farcical, inasmuch as most of them are not heard and decided till the alleged manipulators complete the entire term of five years as people’s legitimate representatives!
Former Finance Minister P.Chidambaram is a case for reference.
These topics may help study the phenomenon:
1. Democracy needs Supreme Court to create separate Election Benches
2. Sivaganga shows us how hollow has become our democracy
3. Cidambaram could not have dared to contest: But Judiciary should be ashamed of how it helped him stay in power for the whole term
4. Exclusive Election Tribunals Essential
As long as separate Election Benches in High Courts or in the Supreme Court or an Election Tribunal like the National Green Tribunal do not get formed, election cases, in our opinion, can at best be viewed as a pattern pf political farce.
The Country needs a law that should put an elected member of an Assembly or the Loksabha in suspended animation the moment an election petition challenging her/his election is admitted for hearing , binding every such election court to dispose of the admitted case within the first year of election. As otherwise, democracy shall have no escape from the hands of the manipulators.