Supreme Court upholds minimum educational criteria for contesting polls in HaryanaIn a first, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a new law in Haryana, mandating minimum educational qualification as a pre-requisite for the candidates contesting panchayat polls.
A bench led by Justice J Chelameswar dismissed a batch of petitions that had challenged the validity of the amendment in the pertinent law. The court ruled that the new law is constitutionally valid and it cannot be quashed on the ground of violating fundamental rights of individuals who seek to contest the local polls. It also held that the state legislature was empowered to usher in the new law under the legislative scheme.
Acting on a PIL, the bench had in September stayed the operation of The Haryana Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 2015 which requires that general candidates must have passed Class X examination while women and Dalit candidates need to have cleared Classes VIII and V, respectively.
The state government had turned down a suggestion to drop the educational criteria and said it would rather want the top court to legally examine the validity of the amendment and settle the issue authoritatively.
Here's hoping it applies to all levels of governance if Supreme Court has stated that right to contest election is not a fundamental right.