No bar on contesting two seats in one poll


    In News 

    • The Supreme Court rejected a petition to bar candidates from contesting from more than one constituency in the general or assembly elections.

    Why has SC rejected the Petition?

    • SC called it a matter of “parliamentary sovereignty” and “political democracy”.
    • The matter squarely falls within the “legislative domain” (

    Contesting Elections from 2 Constituencies

    • Section 33(7) of the Representation of People Act (RPA) permits a candidate to contest any election (parliamentary, state assembly, biennial council, or by-elections) from up to two constituencies. 
    • The provision was introduced in 1996 prior to which there was no bar on the number of constituencies from which a candidate could contest.
    • Section 70 of RPA states that if a person is elected to more than one seat in either House of Parliament or in the House or either House of the Legislature of a State, then, unless within the prescribed time he resigns all but one of the seats all the seats shall become vacant. 

    Government’s View on the validity of Section 33(7)

    • The Government is of the opinion that the law cannot curtail the right of a candidate to contest elections and curtail the polity’s choice of candidates.
    • Before the amendment, candidates could contest from any number of constituencies. The government had said the restriction to two constituencies was reasonable enough, and there was no need to change the law now.

    View of Election Commission of India (ECI) on Section 33(7)

    • The EC had, in an affidavit in 2018 informed the Supreme Court that it had proposed an amendment to Section 33(7) in 2004.
    • The EC had pointed out that “when a person contests election from two constituencies, and wins from both, he has to vacate one seat out of the two constituencies. Which means a by-election would be required from one constituency involving avoidable expenditure on the conduct of that bye-election”.
    • TheEC had even suggested that a candidate should deposit an amount of ?5 lakh for contesting in two constituencies in an Assembly election or ?10 lakh in a general election. The amount would be used to cover the expenses for a by-election.