Free and fair elections is one of the basic and yet very important pillar of Democracy it ensures Regular shift of powers and also signifies the verdict of the masses but the people living in a state are not the only ones who give verdicts, of course there are courts, given that the work of the court is to apply the law of the land to resolve the disputes between people, companies and governments or unit of government but recently a question that has been coming up in news and various other primetime shows are whether the courts can interfere in election matters and the functioning of election commission?
The answer to the following question is in the news itself the high court of Allahabad requested the Central Government and The Election Commission to ban political rallies in view of concerns about the Omicron varient of the coronavirus disease, the Hon'ble Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav also requested for the postponement of elections amidst the rise of covid cases he also added the hindi phrase “Jaan hai to jahaan hai (the world exists only if you are alive).” But it is clearly evident here that the court is requesting the centre and election commission instead of passing an order. The rationale behind this is that The Election Commission of India is responsible for administering elections for the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, and the President and Vice President of India. While appeals to the High Court and Supreme Court can dispute election commission decisions, the court has no authority after the election process has commenced; the judiciary does not intervene in the actual conduct of the polls.
In Prithvi Raj vs. State Electoral Commission, the issue of judicial review in election commission matters came up. Since the Apex Court upheld the power of judicial review under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution as an essential feature of the Constitution that cannot be tampered with or eroded, but in the same case, the Punjab and Haryana high court referred to article 243, which further prohibits the judiciary from interfering in electoral matters. Article 243ZG(b) of the Constitution and Section 74 of the Election Commission Act specify that no election may be contested except through the submission of an election petition in line with the Election Commission Act's requirements.
The following are reasons why the judiciary avoids interfering in election-related matters: Equality, the rule of law, judicial scrutiny, and separation of powers are all pillars of the Constitution, each of these concepts is inextricably linked. There can be no rule of law without equal protection under the law, these are useless unless and until the infraction is subject to judicial review. All of these would be superfluous if the legislative, executive, and judicial branches were combined into a single institution. As a result, the judiciary has been charged with determining whether the limit has been exceeded and above all whether it is judiciary or the central and election commission it is important for everyone to value the human safety and life at pinnacle importance and which is evidently displayed in the recent developments where EC banned all political rallies and road shows in all 5 poll bound state.
Prithvi Raj vs. State Election Commission and Ors. (25.07.2007 - PHHC)
Article 226 & 243