Elected representative cannot go against will of electorate: Kerala HC on defection

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan, in an order issued on February 5, said an elected representative should be the voice of the people of that constituency and cannot go against the will of the electorate and act according to his whims and fancies.
Kerala High Court Justice P V Kunhikrishnan
Kerala High Court Justice P V Kunhikrishnan

Kochi | After getting elected by the people through a political party or political alliance, a person cannot change his stand against that political party or alliance without getting a fresh mandate from the electorate, the Kerala High Court has said, in a verdict that could have far-reaching implications.

The court made the observation while dismissing a petition connected with defection in one of the local self government bodies in Idukki district.

Justice P V Kunhikrishnan, in an order issued on February 5, said an elected representative should be the voice of the people of that constituency and cannot go against the will of the electorate and act according to his whims and fancies.

"After getting elected by the people through a political party or political alliance, a person cannot give up the political party and political alliance and act in accordance with his whims and fancies because the people elected him through a political party or political alliance.

"If he is an independent candidate, supported by a political party or political alliance, he is bound to follow the mandate of the electorate," the court said.

The court was hearing a matter in connection with a defection case from Adimali Grama Panchayat in Idukki district. The court was considering multiple petitions including a plea against condoning the delay in filing the election petition in that matter.

The court said that once a person is elected through the mandate of the electorate under the banner of a political party or political alliance, he must see that the intention of the electorate is spoken out by him in the council or other elected bodies.

The court, however, noted that this principle may not be applicable in a case where the candidate himself is an independent contestant without the backing of any political party or political alliance.

"Lord Acton, an English Catholic historian, politician, and writer said that, 'Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. The elected members of a democracy should hear these words before they do anything. Their remote control is the electorate which includes poor daily wage workers, sweepers etc," the court observed.

The court said the intention of the defection law itself is to see that the will of the people is exhibited by the elected member till he/she again faces a mandate from the electorate.

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