In an affidavit filed before the top court, the poll panel said the Centre is the appropriate party for the adjudication of the prayers made in the plea filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur.
“The issue involved in this matter pertains to the interpretation of Article 191(1)(e) of the Constitution. It relates to matters that do not have a nexus with the conduct of elections in terms of the remit of the Commission under Article 32.
“Therefore, Respondent No. 1 (Centre) is the appropriate party for the adjudication of the prayers made in the present Petition,” the poll panel said.
In her plea, Thakur had said there is a concerted pan-India effort by political parties to render the Constitution’s 10th Schedule — provision on disqualification on grounds of political defections — as otiose and redundant.
It had said the import of the provisions of Article 191(1)(e) of the Constitution and its consequential effect on an MP or MLA, who suffers disqualification under the 10th Schedule, would have to be considered by this court which had no occasion till now to do so.
The plea had said that once a member of the House incurs disqualification under the 10th Schedule, he or she cannot be permitted to contest again during the term for which he was elected as Article 172 makes a membership of a House co terminus with the term of five years of the House except in circumstances mentioned there in.
It had said that once the 10th Schedule comes into play and a seat falls vacant due to disqualification then that particular disqualified member of the House has to incur disability under Article 191 (1)(e ) of the Constitution and be debarred from being chosen again during the term for which he/she was elected.
Consequently his nomination shall be rejected as provided in Section 362 (a) of the Representation of the People Act, the plea said.
Thakur in her plea said that it concerns the importance of party politics in a democracy and the requirement to have stability within the government to facilitate good governance, as mandated under the Constitution.