The Supreme Court of India has clarified its stance on interfering in election matters. While it generally refrains from getting involved, it emphasizes that this principle is not absolute. The court acknowledged instances where unjust executive actions or attempts to disrupt a fair electoral playing field may arise. In such cases, the Constitutional Courts are not only allowed but duty-bound to step in and ensure the integrity of the election process.
The court stated, "Where issues crop up, indicating unjust executive action or an attempt to disturb a level playing field between candidates and political parties with no justifiable or intelligible basis, the Constitutional Courts are required, nay, they are duty-bound to step in."
This clarification came during the hearing of a petition filed by the Union Territory of Ladakh opposing the allocation of the 'plough' symbol to the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC).
While the court generally adopts a hands-off approach in electoral matters to preserve the sanctity of the democratic process, it explained that this approach aims to ensure that elections proceed without unnecessary delays or dilutions.
Regarding the current case, the court noted the proactive stance of the J&K NC in seeking relief for the allocation of the "plough" symbol, which was granted by the High Court. However, it strongly rebuked the Ladakh Administration for non-compliance with court orders. It clarified that it would not permit the Administration to evade accountability for its actions by seeking the court's intervention only when it suits its interests.
Author: Anushka Taraniya
News Writer, MIT ADT University