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    Legal Controversy Surrounds Karnal Assembly By-Election

    Following the Election Commission of India‘s (ECI) decision to withhold the Akola West Assembly by-election in Maharashtra, questions arise about the legitimacy of the upcoming Karnal assembly by-election in Haryana. Legal experts argue for its constitutionality despite opposition concerns.

    The Akola West by-election suspension, ordered by the Bombay High Court, prompted Congress MLA Neeraj Sharma to petition the ECI to quash the Karnal by-election slated for May 25. Sharma deems it a “wastage of public money” since the elected representative would serve only a few months, with the current Haryana Assembly term ending November 3, 2024.

    However, legal experts argue that CM Saini’s candidacy justifies the by-election. According to Article 164(4) of the Constitution, a non-MLA Chief Minister can hold office for six months. Hence, CM Saini must be elected as an MLA within this timeframe.

    Citing historical precedents in Haryana and Odisha, such as the 1986 Haryana by-election despite a term of less than a year remaining, advocates assert the constitutional validity of such elections.

    As the debate unfolds, stakeholders await further guidance from the ECI on the Karnal assembly by-election’s fate.

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