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Domicile: SC rules subject to outcome polls for 60 RS seats

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New Delhi, Mar 1 (UNI) The Supreme Court today reiterated its order dated June 9, 2005, that the elections for 60 Rajya Sabha seats for which the Election Commission is announcing poll schedule this evening shall be subject to the outcome of PILs being heard by this court.

A Constitution bench comprising chief justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Mr.

Justice K.G. Balakrishanan, Mr. Justice S,H, Kapadia. Mr. Justice C.K. Thakker and Mr. Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan passed the order when EC counsel S Muralidharan informed the court that EC was going to announce the election schedule for 60 seats to the Council of States this evening.

The Apex Court is hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of amended section 2 of the Representation of the Peoples Act doing away with the requirement of domicile for a candidate for Rajya Sabha elections and also replacing secret ballot with open ballot.

Mr. F.S, Nariman, senior counsel appearing for the petitioners including media personalities Kuldip Nayar and Inderjit, has described the impugned amendment as thoughtless legislation destructive of basic struture of the Constitution of India while the Centre and BJP-ruled state of MP have defended the amendment on the ground that the same was aimed at giving wider choice to the state assemblies in selection of candidates for Council of States and also to check the influence of money power and muscle power induced defections and cross voting in the polling for the Upper House. The arguments remained inconclusive today and shall resume tomorrow.

UNI AKS/XC RP HT1710

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