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Former HC judges urge President, CJI, EC to uphold Constitution in case of hung Parliament

The former judges have raised concerns over the smooth transition of power in case ruling party loses public mandate. It requested the CJI and the CEC to uphold the Constitution in such an eventuality and ensure smooth transition of power.

Edited By: Shubham Bajpai New Delhi Published on: June 03, 2024 21:55 IST
Former HC judges write to President,
Image Source : FILE PHOTO President Droupadi Murmu

A day ahead of the vote counting of the Lok Sabha elections, seven ex-high court judges wrote an open letter to President Droupadi Murmu on Monday requesting her to follow the “established democratic precedent” and invite the largest pre-poll alliance to form the government in case of a hung Parliament.

The seven former judges include one from Patna High Court Anjana  Prakash and six others from Madras High Court namely, G M Akbar Ali, Aruna Jagadeesan, D Hariparanthaman, P R Shivakumar, C T Selvam, S Vimala.

“We, former high court judges, having no affiliation to any political party, but strongly committed to the ideals enshrined in the Constitution, and to the values of electoral democracy, write this open letter from a deep anguish at the recent and present goings-on with regard to the parliamentary elections of 2024,” the letter, issued to media on June 3, said.

Mentioning the May 25 open statement of the Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG) of former civil servants, the judges wrote, “We are constrained to agree with the scenario envisaged in the above statement: ‘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 letter added.

Former judges also urge CJI and EC

According to them, there was “genuine concern” that if the ruling party lost the people’s mandate, there could be a constitutional crisis and that the transition of power may not be smooth, urging the  Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and the Chief Election Commissioner to uphold the constitution by ensuring a smooth transition in such case.

Targeting the poll body, the former judges raised concern over its refusal to disclose the exact number of votes cast in each booth of every constituency and to make form 17(C) of conduct of election rules available to the public. They argued that the minimal action taken against the ruling party over hate speech targeting minorities and opposition parties are major concern.

Highlighting the Supreme Court’s role of being a final authority to defend the Constitution, the letter emphasised that it 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.”

“We, the people of India as citizens of a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic hereby call upon the Supreme Court to ensure the presence and attendance of the top five esteemed justices of the Supreme Court even during the period of the ongoing summer vacation and be available to respond in the event of any constitutional crisis that might emerge in the present situation,” the letter said.

It also added that the former judges hoped that their apprehensions were wrong and the elections would end smoothly suggesting that their letter is in the spirit of prevention being better than cure.

(WIth PTI Inputs)

ALSO READ | Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Counting of votes to begin at 8 am tomorrow, postal ballots to be taken first

 

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