Conduct of Internal Elections of a Political Party Not Controlled by ECI Guidelines Framed by Section 324: MP High Court

the High Court of Madhya Pradesh recently observed that the conduct of internal elections of any political party can not be judged on the basis of the guidelines drawn up by the Election Commission of India under Article 324 of the constitution.

The bench of Judge Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav further clarified that the Election Commission of India, under Section 324 of the Constitution, does not frame any guidelines for the conduct of organizational elections of any political party.

Essentially, the bench was dealing with a plea filed by a Sheikh Shahrukh for nullification of the result of the election for President, Indian Youth Congress, Umariya being illegal and invalid.

According to his lawyer, he is a member of the Indian Youth Congress and has full voting rights for the organizational election in the district as per the guidelines of the Indian Youth Congress Electoral Authority.

It was further clarified that Respondents #1 [Youth Congress Election Authority] and 2 [PLO, Youth Congress Election Authority] has failed to adhere to the guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercising the power conferred under Section 324 of the Constitution of India.

Therefore, it was argued that the court should exercise the power under section 226 of the constitution to ensure that such a directive is strictly followed and any election in violation of such a directive should be annulled.

Initially, the Court declared that the Indian National Congress, against whom a writ is sought, is do not a State within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution and as such no the query in short is maintainable.

With regard to the petitioner’s submission regarding the making of the directive by the Election Commission of India under Section 324 of the Constitution, the Court observed the following:

… The said argument has no substance as the Election Commission of India under Section 324 of the Constitution does not issue any guidelines for the conduct of organizational elections of a political party. Section 324 of the Constitution vests solely in the Election Commission of India the power to supervise, direct and control the preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of all elections to the parliament and legislatures of each state and the elections for President and Vice President held under the Constitution of India. Thus, the conduct of internal elections of a political party cannot be judged on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India under Article 324 of the constitution..”

In view of this, the petition was dismissed by the Court.

Case title – Shaikh Shahrukh c. Youth Congress Electoral Authority and others

Case quote:

Click here to read/download the order

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