India

Delhi HC seeks EC reply on plea over Tamang's disqualification

Delhi HC seeks EC reply on plea over Tamang's disqualification

The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought the response of the Centre and Election Commission of India on a plea against the poll panel’s decision to reduce the disqualification period of Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, convicted and sentenced in a graft case, from six years to 13 months.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the state government and Tamang, seeking their replies on the plea challenging a provision of the Representation of People Act which gives power to the poll panel to remove or reduce the disqualification period.

The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on December 24.

The petition by Dek Bahadur Katwal, General Secretary of the Sikkim Democratic Front, states that Section 11 of the RP Act, 1951, is unconstitutional as it gives arbitrary power to the EC to remove or reduce the disqualification period. He also challenged the EC’s September 29 order, passed a day before the last date of filing nomination, by which Tamang’s disqualification period was reduced to 13 months.