Supreme Court Refused to countermand West Bengal Panchayat Elections:
These were the reasons given by Supreme Court for declining to interfere:
“[I]t would be inappropriate for this Court to exercise its jurisdiction to interdict the declaration of results of the uncontested seats. First and foremost, it is necessary for the Court to notice that no specific relief was claimed before the High Court in regard to those seats where there was no contest. Neither were there adequate pleadings nor indeed were specific prayers set up before the High Court when its jurisdiction under Article 226 was invoked. The proceedings before the High Court were brought by several political parties, each of whom would have been well aware of the situation on the ground and the need to formulate an adequate basis in fact to invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court. Absent such a factual foundation, the High Court dealt with the only issue which had been addressed, which was the plea that nominations should be allowed to be filed in the electronic form. No other plea was raised.
Continue reading “West Bengal Panchayat Elections” →
Democracy is government by the people:
Democracy is a continual participative operation, not a cataclysmic, periodic exercise. The little man, in his multitude,marking his vote at the poll does a social audit of his Parliament plus political choice of his proxy. Although the full flower of participative Government rarely blossoms, the minimum credential of popular government is appeal to the people after every term for a renewal of confidence. So we have adult franchise and general elections as constitutional compulsions. “the right of election is the very essence of the constitution” (Junius). It needs little argument to hold that the heart of the Parliamentary system is free and fair election periodically held, based on adult franchise, although social and economic democracy may demand much more.
Participatory democracy means the participation of residents of this State in the development of public policy and in the improvement of the operation of government at all levels.
Challenging task of conducting elections in India:
Conducting free and fair elections in a country like India, 73 crores people of which country constitute electoral bank, is by no means an easy task. India is the largest democracy in the world. Because of number of factors i.e. different culture, different languages, diverse territories with different ecology and climatic conditions, the high rate of illiteracy and poverty as well as different societal norms, the challenges faced by the Election Commission of India in this country are unique and unparallel.
[Source: Dr. Subramanian Swamy vs Election Commission Of India (Supreme Court of India)]
Right to campaign for election:
There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders. Citizens can exercise that right in a variety of ways: They can run for office themselves, vote, urge others to vote for a particular candidate, volunteer to work on a campaign, and contribute to a candidate’s campaign. This case is about the last of those options.
The right to participate in democracy through political contributions is protected by the First Amendment, but that right is not absolute. Our cases have held that Congress may regulate campaign contributions to protect
against corruption or the appearance of corruption.
At the same time, we have made clear that Congress may not regulate contributions simply to reduce the amount of money in politics, or to restrict the political participation of some in order to enhance the relative influence of others.
Many people might find those latter objectives attractive: They would be delighted to see fewer television commercials touting a candidate’s accomplishments or disparaging an opponent’s character. Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades—despite the profound offense such
spectacles cause—it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.
Indeed, as we have emphasized, the First Amendment “has its fullest and most urgent application precisely to the conduct of campaigns for political office.
[Source: ROBERTS, C. J in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, (Supreme Court of USA) relying upon Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U. S. 1, 26–27 (1976) (per curiam); Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, 564 U. S. ___, ___ (2011) (slip op., at 24–25); Texas v. Johnson, 491 U. S. 397 (1989); Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U. S. ___(2011); National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, 432 U. S. 43 (1977) (per curiam) and Monitor Patriot Co. v. Roy, 401 U. S. 265, 272 (1971).]