Congress leader and the Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, has moved the Supreme Court against the decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold separate by-polls for two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat..Paresh Dhanani has prayed for a direction to the ECI to hold simultaneous polls for filling of Rajya Sabha vacancies in all States, including Gujarat. He has also prayed for quashing the June 15 notice of the ECI..The ECI notice terms the vacancies created due to the election of Amit Shah and Smriti Irani to the Lok Sabha after the General elections as “casual vacancies”. This, the petition says, is “complete and direct violation of the provisions of Representation of People Act.” Such vacancies fall under the category of Statutory vacancies under Section 69 of the Representation of People Act, contends Dhanani in his petition..Separate elections held for each vacancy would lead to the victory of the candidate from the party commanding simple majority in the State Legislature, the petition contends. It goes on to add that this would upset the scheme of proportional representation as required under the RP Act..“The exhaustive and detailed procedure in respect of the elections to Rajya Sabha recognized by the Supreme Court itself, would be rendered otiose if the elections for each vacancy were to be conducted separately. The conduct of election for each vacancy separately would only lead to one result i.e. the victory of the party which commands simple majority in the State Legislature. This would turn the very objective of proportional representation i.e. to give each minority group an effective share as per its strength, on its head.”.Various representations in this regard made by the petitioner before the ECI led to no relief and this “lack of appropriate action” is indicative of “complete absence of justice”, according to the petitioner. The ECI is entrusted with the responsibility to ensure a level playing field which is not ensured in the absence of simultaneous polls for these vacancies..“The lack of appropriate decision by the Respondent despite several representations and exhortations by the Petitioner demonstrates abdication, indecision and a complete absence of justice, in ensuring a level playing field and ensuring the essence of minority representation through proportional representation to elect members to the Council of States for the State of Gujarat.”.The decision of the ECI to issue the notice of June 15 despite the various representations made by the Petitioner has constrained him to approach the Supreme Court, the petition submits..The petition has been filed through Advocate Varun Chopra and Yagyavalk Shukla. .Bar & Bench is available on WhatsApp. For real-time updates on stories, click here to subscribe to our WhatsApp.