Delay in Ambala Lok Sabha By-Election Raises Questions
Due to the absence of a by-election on the Ambala Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant after the demise of the current BJP Member of Parliament Ratan Lal Kataria on May 18, 2023, the seat remains unoccupied. The Election Commission has not yet announced a by-election for this seat.
In this matter, Advocate Hemant Kumar has sent a legal notice to the Election Commission in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In the notice, he stated that the Election Commission was supposed to conduct a by-election for this seat by November 18, 2023. However, the Election Commission has not yet declared a by-election for this seat.
Hemant Kumar asserts that the Election Commission has not provided any concrete reasons for not holding a by-election on this seat. He emphasized the need for the Election Commission to publicly disclose information in this regard.
According to the legal provisions, specifically Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, it was mandatory for the Election Commission to conduct a by-election on the vacant Ambala Lok Sabha seat until November 18, 2023. This obligation arose because the incumbent Member of Parliament, Mr. Kataria, passed away, and the remaining term exceeded one year from the day of his demise. However, in case the Election Commission has sought advice from the central government and it has been officially confirmed that conducting by-elections for the vacant Ambala Lok Sabha seats is not feasible, the Commission should publicly disclose the administrative or possibly technical circumstances preventing the organization of a by-election within the legally stipulated six-month period.
According to Hemant Kumar, the absence of a by-election on the Ambala Lok Sabha seat will hinder the development of the region. The people of this area will miss out on a benefit of 5 crore rupees for development projects.
Hemant Kumar has stated that he is preparing to file a petition in the High Court regarding this matter.