On the 12th of February, 2020, the External Affairs Ministers - S Jaishankar
filed a caveat in the Supreme Court. The caveat will be heard only if the Supreme Court decides to take up petitions that were filed by the Congress party leaders namely Gaurav Pandya, Chandrika Chudsama and Paresh Dhanani that had challenged his and BJP leader Jugali Thakor's election to the Upper House of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in July 2019. The elections to the two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant after BJP leaders Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha.
The grounds on which the order had been challenged were the Election Commission's notifications that treated the two vacant seats to be of two different categories and also required bypolls to hold their elections separately; this was illegal and in violations of the provisions of the Constitution of India, 1949, Representation of People's Act, 1951
and Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.
As per the Constitution, election to the vacant seat of Rajya Sabha should be held together so that the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote can be applied. The caveat has been filed through Advocate Swarupama Chaturvedi in the Apex Court registry. It says that he should be heard before the court decides to entertain and pass directions on petitions of the Gujarat High Court order. The Gujarat High Court on February 4th, 2020 dismissed a batch of petitions that challenged the election of Jaishankar to the Rajya Sabha.
Author - Dyuti Pandya