Madras High Court Current Affairs - 2019
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Madras High Court has dismissed two writ petitions filed against the Presidential decision to rescind the Lok Sabha poll notification for the Vellore parliamentary constituency in the wake of complaints of large-scale distribution of cash to voters.
Why the Lok Sabha Polls in the Vellore Constituency was cancelled?
Lok Sabha election to the Vellore constituency was cancelled following the recovery of a huge amount of cash allegedly from a DMK candidate’s office.
The Election Commission had decided to cancel the polls after the district police had filed a complaint against the accused, Kathir Anand (DMK Candidate from Vellore) as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.
Observation made by the Madras High Court
Writ petitions were filed by AIADMK candidate A.C. Shanmugam and independent candidate K. Sugumar, who sought a direction to the Election Commission (EC) to conduct polls for the Vellore constituency along with 38 others in the State on 18th April.
The Supreme Court rejected the petitioners claim that the Constitution does not confer upon the President any power to countermand an election and, therefore, a gazette notification issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice notifying the decision of the President to rescind the poll notification should be declared ultra vires.
The High Court pointed out that it was the EC that had made the recommendation for countermanding the polls to the President by exercising powers conferred on it under Article 324 of the Constitution, Section 21 of the General Clauses Act of 1897 and other enabling powers aimed at ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections.
It was the President who had notified the polls on March 19 on the basis of a recommendation made by the EC and by exercising powers conferred on him under Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act of 1951. Hence President was right in rescinding the notification on the basis of EC’s subsequent recommendation.
The Madras High Court has ruled against negative marking in competitive examinations saying they are bad in law.
Observations of the Madras High Court
The Madras High Court while hearing a petition filed by an IIT JEE aspirant who failed to clear the Mains due to negative marking has made the following observations:
- The Madras High Court has accepted the petitioner’s argument that negative marking is not prevailing anywhere else in the world.
- The court said that negative marking acts only as “a bolt in the brain development” of students and prevents them from making intelligent guesses.
- Deducting marks for wrong answers would not in any way help in analysing the intelligence, aptitude or knowledge of the candidates.
- Every candidate could not be expected to know all answers for sure. In such circumstances, the practice of negative marking would hamper brain development and create a fear psychosis among students.
- The court rejected the CBSE counsel’s argument that in Indian context the practice is necessary.
The judge stated that “Intelligent guessing is an art. It is very useful in our life. One cannot be sure about all things at all times. An individual will come across a situation where he/she has to decide an issue not merely based on his knowledge but with little guessing. While intelligent guessing requires an amount of prior knowledge on the subject, wild guessing is a decision taken just like that”
The Madras High Court ruled not to give negative marks for wrong answers and directed the CBSE to communicate the order to the National testing Agency which conducts the JEE (Main) exam.