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Ex-high court judges write to President, CJI expressing 'genuine apprehensions' over LS poll conduct
LS polls
In image poll preparation ahead of 7th phase voting/ courtesy: PIB

Ex-high court judges write to President, CJI expressing 'genuine apprehensions' over LS poll conduct

| @indiablooms | 04 Jun 2024, 12:59 am

New Delhi/IBNS: At least seven former high court judges on Monday wrote an open letter to President Droupadi Murmu, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, expressing ‘concern’ over the way the Lok Sabha elections were held.

The letter has been signed by former Madras High Court judges GM Akbar Ali, Aruna Jagadeesan, D Hariparanthanam, PR Shivakumar, CT Selvam, S Vimla and former Patna high court judge Anjana Prakash, claiming no affiliation to any political party.

In their letter, the judges claimed that there are “genuine apprehensions” in the minds of the vast majority of the people, echoed by civil and human rights organizations and activists.

“There was genuine concern about the way the General Election - 2024 is being conducted by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and that if the present ruling dispensation loses people’s mandate the transition of power may not be smooth and there could be a constitutional crisis,” the letter claimed.

The former judges quoted a statement by the Constitutional Conduct Group of former civil servants last week that expressed ‘concerns’ over the fairness of the elections

“It pains us to say that no Election Commission in the past has been as reluctant as the present one to discharge its duties, despite violations being repeatedly brought to its attention by responsible organisations and respected members of society,” the former civil servants' body had claimed.

Referring to the recent controversy involving the Election Commission regarding the number of votes cast in each polling booth, the former judges pointed to alleged minimal action taken against hate speech against minorities and opposition parties by leaders of the ruling party.

“In the event of a hung parliament, onerous responsibilities will be placed upon the shoulders of the President of India. We are sure that she will follow the established democratic precedent of first inviting the pre-poll alliance that garnered the largest number of seats. Also, that she would endeavour to preempt the possibilities of horse-trading,” the former judges wrote in the open letter.

The ex-judges urged the apex court to “defend and protect the Constitution and democracy, should be ready to take proactive action to prevent any potential catastrophe or to address any monstrous situations that may arise during counting and declaration of results of candidates who have contested in Lok Sabha 2024 elections, requiring immediate intervention.”

The ex-judges urged the Supreme Court to ensure the presence of top five justices even during the vacation to be able to respond to what they call an event of any “constitutional crisis”.

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