Petition challenging 2007 TN govt notification dismissed

first_imgChennai, Sep 10 (PTI) A petition challenging a government notification in 2007 abolishing the parliamentary constituency of Pudukottai was today dismissed by the Madras High Court, which said the petitioner does not have any locus standi to challenge it as it is a registered body and not a voter. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam, while dismissing it, said it was relevant to point out that the petitioner is a Bar Association, a registered body comprising members who are advocates practising in the district. “Thus the petitioner association is not a voter and hence would not have locus standi to challenge the impugned notification as it cannot be construed as an aggrieved person. Therefore on this short ground, the relief sought for is liable to be rejected,” the bench said. Furthermore, the right to vote is a statutory right and not a fundamental right and in such circumstances, there can be no vested right for a voter to claim that he has a right to exercise his franchise in a particular constituency, it said. This would be another ground to reject relief sought for. The Association sought to quash the August 13, 2007 notification issued jointly by the Chief Electoral Officer and Secretary to Government, Public (Elections) Department, and Secretary, Delimitation Commission of India, in relation to abolition of this Parliamentary Constituency, as it stood in the draft notification and to direct the DC to restore it as one of the parliamentary Constituencies. The petitioner submitted that a major extent of present Revenue district of Pudukottai was an independent princely state and merged with the Union of India in 1948. After India became a republic, the first Parliamentary election was held in 1952. This parliamentary constituency was constituted as a separate one, though a major part of it was part of Tiruchirappalli Revenue district. In 1974, 4 taluks, including Pudukottai of Tiruchirapalli district and Aranthangi Taluk of Thanjavur district were carved out and the newly created Pudukottai district was formed, comprising five revenue taluks. The bench considered two issues — maintainability of the petition and whether the procedure contemplated under the Delimitation Act, 2002 was followed and opportunity was granted to place the objections. It said the plea raised was absolutely vague and the petitioner had not placed any material before the court to substantiate that deletion of the constituency was to protect the interests of the some individuals or political parties without naming such persons or entities. The bench said the Delimitation Commission has the power to rearrange constituencies, exercise of which must be assumed to be for good reasons and that the reasons assigned by the Commission for rearranging the constituencies after public hearings does not smack of any arbitrariness. PTI COR APR ZMNadvertisementlast_img read more

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