IRREGULARITIES IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

LeoRebello

FOR SERIOUS READING — from Dr. Leo Rebello

Please read the following carefully and circulate. This explains how things are
manipulated at the highest level to keep mediocrity and corruption going.
The reason why, you would also agree that I would make the best Executive
President of India in 2012 to clean the Augean’s stable of corruption, casteism,
criminalisation and communalism, all of which is against Spirituality.

BSD

Firetrench Directory

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

AT NEW DELHI

 

REVIEW PETITION NO. (C) ____ 2007

UNDER ARTICLE 137 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

 

IN WP(C) No. 219 of 2007
Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India

 

Dr. Leo Rebello … Petitioner
Residing at : 28/552 Samata Nagar, Kandivali East, Mumbai 400101.

 

Versus

The Election Commission of India and Anr … Respondents

Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi

 

 

TO THE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. K.G.BALAKRISHNAN AND JUSTICES MR. B.P. SINGH AND MR. G.P. MATHUR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, NEW DELHI

 

BEING AGGRIEVED with the arbitrary order passed by the Supreme Court of India,
on 18th May, 2007, this REVIEW APPLICATION is moved under article 137 of the Constitution of India, to restore the original petition on Board as soon as possible for expedited hearing and proper disposal.

 

THE REASONS WHY REVIEW BECOMES NECESSARY

 

1.. Copy of the office report mentioned in the Order was not given to me or seen by me. What comments did the office report contain?

 

2.. The Order says: “UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following

O R D E R

Heard petitioner in person.

The writ petition is dismissed”.

 

Whose counsel was heard, when counsel of the Respondents was not present and the petitioner-in-person was not heard?

 

3.. The petitioner was not heard and yet the Order says that he was heard. This is patently false recording. This amounts to an offence u/s 219 of the IPC — “Public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report, etc. contrary to law”.

 

4.. On the contrary when the petitioner persisted that he should be heard, he was threatened by the CJI with action, which amounted to Criminal Contempt of the Court (under article 129 of the Constitution of India) for five specific reasons: (a) for not reading or hearing the well-worded petition raising vital issues of national importance as well as crucial law points; (b) dismissing it arbitrarily without calling the say from the other side eventhough both the respondents were sent copies of this important PIL; (c) for throwing the file and not accepting the same when the Court Master was giving it again, thereby exposing the pre-determined mindset of the CJI; (d) for sidelining the other two judges as if the CJI is the sole arbiter when on the Bench all judges are equal; and (e) for threatening the petitioner-in-person when he persisted for proper hearing.

 

5.. The CJI arbitrarily dismissed the momentous WP in limine by simply throwing the papers. He or other judges did not even utter the word dismissed. Nor did the CJI or other two judges say why dismissed; they mutely sat through the brief proceedings. If the Supreme Court Judges behave thus, wherein lies the remedy and what message are we sending to the people?

 

6.. When I asked them whether they had read the petition they did not reply.

 

7.. The reasons why the Writ Petition has been dismissed are not given. Speaking Order is the norm laid down by the Supreme Court of India itself.

 

8.. All this read together amounts to abuse of power and contempt of court.

 

9.. If as per Markandey Katju, Learned SC Judge’s comments “No-Work, No-Pay applies to Judges too”, then I would be justified if I were to ask for reimbursement of approx. Rs.15,000 expenses which I incurred in visiting Delhi for the preliminary hearing, from the pockets of the 3 Judges, for failing to perform their constitutional duty as per the Oath of Office administered to them.

 

10. For reasons given above, the WP(C) no.219/07, it is requested, be restored on the Board for priority hearing and proper disposal. The Presidential elections held on 19th July, and the Vice Presidential Elections due on 10th August have proved beyond doubt that my Writ Petition (C) 219 of 2007 filed on 11th April, 2007, touches upon issues of Good Governance and if it was attended to before the two Elections, the nation need not have gone through the debasement in public life. We, the People, look at the Supreme Court as the Final Watchdog of the Nation and consequently it should not fail in its primary duty of protecting the law of the land. Vide this Review, I earnestly appeal, Together, Let us Right the Wrongs.

 

11. The Review Application was sent by Email on 6th June 2007 and later by Speed Post with adequate Court fee affixed. It is being resubmitted on 26th July, 2007 as per the SC’s letter D.No. 2002/07/PIL(W) of 25 July 2007.

 

12. Whatever stated above is true, factual and without malice or prejudice towards any person in particular. It is only a reminder from the Citizen of India to those in power to perform their duties properly.

 

Mumbai, 26th July 2007

 

Dr. Leo Rebello
Petitioner-in-Person

 

 

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, NEW DELHI

ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

 

CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO. WP(C) 219 OF 2007

[Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India]

 

 

DR. LEO REBELLO Petitioner

Presidential Aspirant

 

Versus

 

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

Statutory Body to conduct Free and Fair Elections

 

UNION OF INDIA Respondents

Thro Ministry of Law and Justice

 

In the matter of Presidential elections being held against the spirit of the Constitution of India.

 

In the matter of violation of Articles 14, 21, 54, 55(3), 58, 71(3) and 324 of the Constitution of India.

 

In the matter of “undue influence” –an offense u/s 171C/171F of the IPC.

 

In the matter of unjust rules made under the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Rules, 1974.

 

DR. LEO REBELLO )

Indian Citizen )

Residing at: 28 / 552 Sunrise, )

Samata Nagar, Kandivali (East), )

Mumbai 400 101. Tel. 022 / 28872741. )

Email: prof.leorebello@gmail.com ) ………… Petitioner

 

VERSUS

 

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA )

Office at: Nirvachan Sadan, )

Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110001 )

Email: cec@eci.gov.in )

 

UNION OF INDIA )

Thro Ministry of Law and Justice )

401, A-Wing, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi 110011 )

Email: hansrajab@sansad.nic.in ) ………….. Respondents

 

 

PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 32 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA FOR ISSUANCE OF A WRIT IN THE NATURE OF PROHIBITION UNDER ARTICLE 32 OF THE CONSTITUTIION OF INDIA.

 

 

TO : THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE AND OTHER JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA, NEW DELHI.

 

Though the truth is open to all, many do not feel any urge to seek.

Of those who have the urge, many suffer from doubt and vacillation.

Even if they do not have doubts, many are scared away by difficulties.

Only a few rare souls succeed in braving the perils and reaching the goal.

Bhagvadgita as quoted by S. Radhakrishnan

 

 

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH

1.. The petitioner is a qualified Holistic Healer, Educator, Author and Social Scientist. He has delivered over 10,000 lectures in 63 countries, written 30 books and several articles, poems and editorial letters. A quick search of his name on Google will throw up over 50,000 entries in his name. Director of Natural Health Centre, Bombay, President of AIDS Alternativa, Fellow of European Medical Association etc., he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his pioneering work on AIDS and Holistic Healing. The petitioner is a founder/president of All India Letter-Writers Association, a 27 years old NGO of conscience-keepers of the nation entered as a World Record in the Limca Book of Records. He is also the President of Litigants Welfare Forum, Hon. Adviser of Justice Corps, Founder of All India Voters’ Panchayat, and a prominent leader active in public life. Winner of World Peace Ambassador Award 2004, President of World Constitution and Parliament Association, Vice President of International Association of Educators for World Peace, on the Governing Council of UN-Habitat, Dr. Leo Rebello takes keen interest in Peace, Nuclear Disarmament, Education, Development, Human Rights, Health Freedom and Clean Politics, nationally and internationally.

 

2.. The petitioner does not want to flaunt his achievements, but emphasizes that with his all round exposure he is eminently qualified to serve the country as the President of India and yet denied the opportunity because of machinations at the highest political level. It is a tragedy that in a country of over a billion people, we narrow our search, be it Sports, National Awards or Presidential elections, to a select few, for obvious reasons.

 

3.. The petitioner does not toe the money, muscle and media line of political parties. As such, in spite of numerous recommendations, he has not been nominated to Rajya Sabha under Article 80(3) of the Constitution. Likewise, his name has been nominated for Padma Award since 1990 continuously by prominent persons and/or institutions, for his outstanding contribution to Natural Medicine. But everywhere because of corrupt practices and partisanship, he has been discriminated. The same corrupt practices have also denigrated the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections.

 

4.. To question the fraud every citizen has a locus standi, as held in the Dr. D.C.Wadhwa v/s State of Bihar case. Dr. Wadhwa, a professor of political science working in Pune, helped Bihar’s people in the preservation and promotion of constitutional functioning of the administration by filing a PIL (412 of 1984). Likewise, the petitioner feels that the manner in which Presidents and Vice-Presidents are elected, rather selected, have become a fraud on the Constitution, and this Petition is moved to Right the Wrong.

 

5.. THIS PETITION IS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND and can be solely decided on its merit under articles 32 and 142 of the Constitution of India. Hence, the petitioner has limited the citations as he urges that this petition of national importance is NOT to be lost in the rigmarole of case laws. The petitioner will argue this case in-person. If the Hon’ble Supreme Court feels it necessary, it may appoint an amicus curiae.

 

GIST OF THE PETITION:

6.. In the present political setup, Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections do not offer a level-playing field. Only political heavy-weights, moneyed persons, senior politicians become eligible due to “undue influence” – an offense u/s 171C/171F of the IPC. Also violative of Articles 14, 21, 54, 55(3), 58, 71(3) and 324 of the Constitution of India. Our Constitution promotes good governance and according to former CJI J.S.Verma, “Article 32 of the Constitution, together with Article 142 is an effective tool with the Supreme Court to enforce the fundamental rights of citizens. The Supreme Court can make any order necessary for doing complete justice.”

 

7.. The reasons why Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections are not a level playing field are : –

 

(i) A Presidential aspirant has to secure 100 signatures of proposers and seconders on his nomination form within 14 days, from an electorate spread all over India. This is impossible, unreasonable and unconstitutional to prescribe such a high number making it difficult for honest persons, like the petitioner, to contest.

 

(ii) The nomination form and returning officer is available only in New Delhi, when the electorate is spread all over India. It means that the aspirant has to run to Delhi from his home state to collect the form and submit the same after getting the desired number of signatures of proposers and seconders, within 14 days. This is extremely difficult for a candidate without money or resource of big political parties. Therefore, violative of the Equality principle in the Constitution.

 

8.. Even though the Constitution mandates that the President should be above party lines, the political parties announce the names of the candidates and issue whips to MPs and MLAs to sign the form of only their chosen candidates and strictly vote for their chosen candidate. This practice is blatantly against the equality principle and democratic norms, as it defeats the very purpose of free, fair and independent elections.

 

9.. This amounts to undue influence, threat, coercion and arm-twisting the electorate, because if the party MP or MLA disobeys high command, he/she will be disqualified for defecting from the Party. Undue influence is an offense u/s 171C / 171F of the IPC.

 

10. It may further be noted that once the MP or MLA is elected, he belongs to the Nation or to the State. But when whips are issued to vote on party lines, it vitiates the atmosphere and negates the very principles of democracy, namely, equality, fraternity and justice. When whips are issued, the “sovereign representatives” of the people become “slaves of the political parties” and hence they cannot vote according to their conscience, free will or in nation’s interest and consequently, the Nation cannot progress. Whip goes against civility and tampers democracy and natural justice and should be done away with at least in the Elections to the highest office of the President of India.

 

11. Under Article 53, the President of India is the Executive Head of the State, and consequently, he is supposed to rise above political manipulations to guard the nation’s interests. H.E. the President, ipso facto, is supposed to be an elder statesman, free thinker, a learned/balanced man to guide the destiny of the nation by correcting the waywardness of the wily politicians in power.

12. As India’s first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad pointed out, the President cannot be equated with the British monarch, a hereditary post. “India’s President”, according to Rajen Babu, “is not bound hand and foot by the advice of his Council of Ministers”. He has the power to withhold assent to Bills in his discretion. The Rashtrapati can even dismiss a ministry or a minister and order a general election. As the Supreme Commander of the Defense Forces, the President can send for the Service Chiefs and ask for information about Defense matters. These powers, Rajen Babu argued, flowed from the President’s oath of affirmation under Article 60 of the Constitution, which is as follows: “I solemnly do affirm that I will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of India”. On the face of it, the oath sounds innocuous. But, carefully read, it gives the President certain inherent powers to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” It needs to be noted that he is expected to do this “to the best of my ability”. This ability has to be his own and not that of the Council of Ministers. The President has unfettered right to information. It is he who decides who shall become the Prime Minister. The choice is based on his ability and judgment. The Head of State thus becomes vital to the smooth running of our parliamentary democracy, especially in today’s era of fragmented coalition politics.

 

13. Therefore, the President of India should be a man of worldly wisdom, all round experience, absolute integrity, and scrupulous honesty and, above all, a patriot who has the ability and foresight to steer India through the difficult times. His office should not get mired in political one-upmanship, ego clashes, wheels within wheels, deals, side deals and underhand deals. Hence, in Presidential and Vice Presidential elections whip must go, political parties should not announce, support or campaign for any candidate for the posts of the President and Vice President of India. Only then a true democracy will be ushered in India and this petition is moved with that avowed purpose in mind.

 

14. In 2002 since political parties, aligned as the NDA, issued a whip in favour of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, “the missile man, vegetarian, eminent Muslim from the interiors of Kerala”, et alibi, India lost the opportunity of electing the first female and people’s candidate as the President of India. Incidentally, this is what prominent people of Delhi had said in a Press Statement issued on 24 June 2002: “Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, the opposing candidate for the Presidency, is a legendary heroine of the INA in the struggle for freedom, an indomitable upholder of the rights of workers, peasants and women, a fighter for the protection of the minorities, a critic of the Pokhran tests and war hysteria, and an untiring soldier for socialism (the ideal inscribed in our Constitution). Today, the country needs the patriotism and dedication of Dr. Sahgal, not the jingoism and nuclear braggadocio, masquerading as patriotism that the BJP and its affiliates represent. Widespread support to Dr. Lakshmi Sahgal’s election would signal India’s commitment to peace, national independence, secularism, equity and democracy. We therefore appeal to all Members of Parliament and State Legislatures to vote for Dr. Lakshmi Sahgal for President”.

 

15. In 2002, the petitioner himself could not get a single proposer or seconder even though he met over 600 MPs and MLAs cutting across the party lines. All of them said, “Since our leaders have decided and whip has been issued we cannot sign your form even though you are an eminent and brilliant person”. I am afraid, if this constitutional aberration is NOT corrected, there is absolutely NO chance for any talented, young, motivated, dynamic, deserving, meritorious candidate to get elected to the Highest Post or even the second highest post. This amounts to discrimination and the Supreme Court in its wisdom has rightly said that discrimination is bad in law. Can we afford to indulge in such an anti-constitutional act again and again? Hence, the petitioner repeats that, whip must go, political parties shall not announce, support or campaign for any candidate in the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections. See Annexure I.

 

16. The Seven-Judges Bench of the Supreme Court of India unanimously held in 1974 in the case of Presidential election that “the electoral college as mentioned in Article 54 is independent of the Legislatures ….. to act as independent electors”. If they are to act as independent electors, then how a whip can be issued to sign and vote ONLY a party promoted candidate? Law and simple logic says that President or Vice Presidential candidate cannot be put up/sponsored by political parties by issuing whips and spending for his election. Thereby we are reducing a statesman into a politician.

 

17. Presidential elections as per Constitutional spirit should be above party lines. When a political party sponsors a Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate, he continues to function as a politician favoring the party that gave him the opportunity. This prevents him from becoming an Elected Executive Head of the State in true sense of the word, thereby defeating the letter and spirit of Article 53. The Constitution makers did NOT want professional politicians (like Shri Shekhavat) or bureaucrats (like Dr. Kalam) to be Vice President/President. What they wished was that independent persons of eminence, learning, wisdom – in short statesmen – to guide the nation’s destiny through these two premier positions. But the pygmy politicians have sabotaged the very far-reaching principle and that explains why our country is not progressing in spite of having the best of resources.

 

18. To select a ‘party candidate’ for the august office, foisting him on the electorate, then getting him elected by issuing a whip, is not democratic. On the contrary, it is a fraud on the Indian Constitution, its egalitarian spirit and hence some provisions of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections are hereby challenged being ultra vires to the Constitution of India.

 

19. Now let us look at Section 5B(a) and Section 5C(1) of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act, 1952 (Act 31 of 1952) and Rules 1974 dealing with the numbers of proposers and seconders and election deposit.

 

20. In 1952, when the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election Act was enacted, there was NO security deposit. The candidate himself, with two electors as proposer and seconder, could file the nomination. In 1974, when the Act was amended and rules were framed, the deposit of Rs.2500 was introduced and from one proposer and one seconder the figure was raised to 10 proposers and 10 seconders to make the application valid. Then vide Presidential and Vice Presidential (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (no.13 of 1997) this amount was raised to Rs.15,000 with 50 proposers and 50 seconders required. In 2002, the deposit was further raised to Rs.25,000/- ostensibly to keep away the frivolous candidates. Can one really keep frivolous candidates away by raising the deposit amount? Then, what about the moneyed persons like Vijay Mallya, Anil Ambani or Narayana Murthy getting into the Presidential Palace, like they enter from backdoor the august House of Parliament or corner huge prime properties by ousting poor people by bribing their way? Is it the contention of the Govt. or the EC that moneyed candidates are not frivolous? In a country of over a billion people, why a hegemony of a select few should be allowed to continue?

 

21. Under Article 324, the Election Commission is mandated to ensure that the election to the office of the President of India must be a free and fair election and accordingly it must take necessary steps to discharge its responsibility. Superintendence, direction and control, which are vested in it, should not willy-nilly defeat the very principles of democracy (which is the rule of the people, by the people and for the people). The EC, at all times, must function within its jurisdiction. But the credible conductor and monitor of the poll process seems to have forgotten its responsibility and left behind a legacy of institutional over-reach by several half-measures.

 

22. As per Article 54, the President is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of (a) the elected members of both houses of Parliament; and (b) the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States. But when a whip is issued to vote in favour of a particular party-nominated or sponsored candidate, does not this go against the letter and spirit of the Constitution?

 

23. Article 58 mandates that the qualifications for election as President will be that the aspirant will be (a) a citizen of India, (b) who has completed the age of thirty-five, and (c) is qualified for election as a member of the House of the People.

 

24. Why then people always beyond retirement age are selected as President or Vice President and foisted on the nation by the party in power? Does not that amount to manipulation? In recommending 35 years as the minimum age, the founding fathers wanted talented young blood to guide the destiny of the young nation. This is all the more necessary in technologically advanced 21st Century when India’s majority population is below 35. Consequently, the rules made should be in consonance with Article 58(b). Therefore, the Supreme Court may also think of prescribing the retirement age for politicians, especially since Article 58(b) is routinely violated in the reverse. Instead of selecting candidates of 35 entry age, candidates are selected of exit age. There is also a sound rationale behind this request. If a Govt. servant can be retired at 60, the high court judge at 62 and the Supreme Court Judge at 65, no matter how brilliant that person may be, then how is it that old politicians are appointed to be at the helm of affairs when even our age old culture talks of Vanaprasth and Sanyas? With due respect, the important question that emerges from the above discussion is: Is the Rashtrapati Bhavan an Old Age Home or a vibrant Watch Dog over puny politicians and their antics leading to polarization of the country?

 

GROUNDS OF THE PETITION

25. It is submitted that the Offices of the President and Vice President of India are apolitical offices. It is further submitted that the office of the President of India being the Chief Arbiter of the Nation cannot be politicized. To issue a whip, to sponsor a candidate and get him elected as President and Vice President is to ensure that he becomes a puppet of the regime in power. This, according to the Constitution of India and Presidential and Vice Presidential Election Act 1952 and Rules of 1974 is not just, fair and proper. In fact, these are unfair electoral practices or offenses. Strictly speaking the Party president or the person issuing a whip should be debarred for a period of 5 years from contesting elections and also prosecuted under section 171C-171F of the IPC.

 

26. The term of the President is for a period of five years. Consequently if the President is elected on the basis of fraudulent practices, his entire term becomes fraudulent leading to degeneration rather than progress.

 

27. The qualifications for election as President do not speak of the 100 signatures. Consequently the election commission creating its own unjust criteria amounts to altering the Constitution. In fact it appears that the EC is adding its own sub clause (d) to Article 58, namely, “No person shall be eligible for election as President unless he obtains the endorsement of 100 MPs and MLAs from the electoral college”. Nowhere in the Constitution has any Article or sub clause allowed the EC to decide such qualifications. Therefore the EC has crossed its brief and its action amounts to “amending the Constitution, which cannot be allowed”. This is nothing but “procedural discrimination” as held in State of WB v. Anwar Ali Sarkar. [AIR 1952 SC page 75].

 

28. This process does not offer a level playing field and is against the basic preamble of the constitution which talks of a goal to secure to all citizens “Equality of status and of opportunity”. The preamble, as we all know, is the face of the Constitution. If the face itself is defaced, and fundamental rights are thrown to the wind and directive principles are lynched by the globalisation juggernaut, will India emerge as a Giant or a polio affected cripple with President and Vice President of India too being cut to size?

 

29. “Article 14 guarantees equal treatment to persons who are equally situated” as held in Government of Andhra Pradesh v/s Maharshi Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 2003. SC 296. There are many who are neither politically, financially nor geographically equally situated but who are far superior to the persons consolidating power in their hands by chicanery and deceit. Preventing such talented persons by deliberate intent amounts to manipulation of the Constitution, which ought not to be allowed.

 

30. Excessive Delegation: The criteria to decide the minimum number of signatures is an essential legislative function beyond the scope of one authority. Delegated legislation is usually for day-to-day matters where the Parliament may not have enough time to legislate on the issue. In this case, neither Presidential nor Vice-Presidential elections are day-to-day matters, but matters that come up once in every five years.

 

31. Therefore, the EC by laying down unjust rules, as outlined above, is creating a parallel legislation. If the Parliament under Article 71(3) “under the right to regulate any matter relating to or connected with the election of a President or Vice President” has made these rules, then the constitutional validity of such rules itself should be gone into. Because, as held in Dr. D.C. Wadhwa case, “The Constitution cannot be perverted to serve political ends” to the detriment of the Citizens.

 

32. Mr. Justice J. S. Verma, former CJI, commenting on the basic structure of the Constitution of India writes: “According to the decision of the Supreme Court in Keshavananda Bharti case, the Constitution has a basic structure which cannot be violated by any legislation made by legislators. The decision of the Supreme Court on 12/01/2007 reiterates this old position”. Writing on the worth of our Constitution, Justice Verma adds: “According to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the worth of our Constitution will depend ultimately on the worth of the persons who work with it. The need is for a renaissance of values to realize the full constitutional promise of a democratic republic.” [Legal News and Views (Vol.21 No.4) April 2007].

 

33. The petitioner submits that the he has already sent enough memorandums to the Election Commission of India, various political leaders about the same, without any result or any change in the system. Therefore, he has no alternative, efficacious remedy to redress this grievance, except to approach this Hon’ble Court. If required the copies of the same will be produced by me at the time of hearing.

 

34. This is the ONLY court under the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act 1952 where such a petition can be taken up. Hence, this petition is moved before this august Forum for expedited hearing and disposal. Save this there is no other petition.

 

35. This first of its kind PIL should be heard on priority basis by the Constitution Bench and kindly decided before vacation, as the notification of the Presidential Election to be held in July 2007 will be issued sometime in June. The petitioner being based in Mumbai, is ready to appear before this august Court on day-to-day basis, being urgent matter.

 

36. Reimbursements of Costs, if possible, because the Petitioner operates on a shoe-string budget and since this petition is moved in public interest in exercise of fundamental duties as enshrined under article 51A this may be considered as a Special request. Though there is precedent in Dr. D.C. Wadhwa case (412 of 1985) where the then CJI P.N.Bhagwati awarded Rs.10,000 to the Petitioner, I leave it to sole discretion of this Court to grant this request or not; but the other issues raised in this important petition cannot be brushed under the carpet anymore.

 

PRAYERS

37. In the above premises, it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased :

 

(i) To direct the Election Commission of India or ECI to make available the Presidential and Vice-Presidential election nomination forms (no.2 and 3) at least three months in advance before the expiry of the term of the President and Vice-President, respectively, throughout India.

 

(ii) To direct the ECI to make available the nomination form on the website of the ECI in downloadable format. PIB and DAVP then should intimate the people about its availability.

 

(iii) To reduce the total number of signatures of MPs, MLAs required on the nomination forms to a reasonable figure say 28 proposers and 7 seconders matching 28 States and 7 Union Territories of India. [Explanation: I am NOT suggesting that one should get one proposer from each state and seven seconders for seven UTs because that will be more difficult a proposition. This figure may be rounded off to maximum 40, but certainly NOT 100 and above, because it has been proved time and again that more the controls, concomitant are corruption cases].

 

(iv) To direct the ECI to accept the completed nomination forms for the Presidential election even at the State or Union Territory level, because Asst. Returning Officers are in any case appointed in all these places?

 

(v) To forbid the Political Party in Power at the Centre, or any other political party from selecting the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate or declaring his/her name by a Writ of Prohibition.

 

(vi) To issue a Writ of Prohibition to Political Parties prohibiting them from issuing a Party whip, directly or indirectly, canvassing for a particular Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate directly or indirectly for being the violation of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Act and Rules.

 

IN CONCLUSION

38. President’s office is the highest elective office. If wrong persons get into the saddle, like the present incumbent trying for a second term, then the entire focus of the nation changes from hard realities like poverty, malnutrition deaths, illiteracy, providing shelter to the millions, to missiles programmes and rocket science and building colonies on the moon for the select few. The Hon’ble Judges of this Apex Court must make sure that at least this office is occupied by a person like the undersigned who has grass root experience as also international exposure, who is not only a great patriot and a robust nationalist but is also a man of absolute integrity, specially in a polity which has become thoroughly corrupt over the years and in which all-powerful business houses are increasingly calling the shots. Rashtrapati Bhawan must continue to inspire national confidence and remain above all controversies and petty politicking. Anything less will be disastrous. Hence this petition under article 32 of the Constitution.

 

 

Petitioner-in-Person

Bombay, 11th April, 2007.

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