President has cancelled polling in Vellore.It is the first Lok Sabha seat to have had its elections cancelled over abuse of money power.
This decision comes after the Election Commission had recommended to the President that elections in Vellore be cancelled citing the suspected use of money power to influence voters after huge cash seizures were recovered.
In 2017,EC had cancelled elections to the Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu twice.In April 2016,during the TN Assembly elections,the EC postponed polls in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur,after cash was recovered.In 2012,elections to two Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand were scrapped for the same reason.
The EC has no direct powers to cancel or postpone an election.However, Article 324 of the Constitution gives the poll body the superintendency as far as the conduct of free and fair elections is concerned.
Further,various Supreme Court orders have stated that where the law is silent,the EC can invoke Article 324 to ensure elections are conducted without malpractices.
In 2016,EC had written to the Union Law Ministry seeking powers to revoke or countermand an election in case there is evidence of money power being used to influence voters,saying that it is not always possible to invoke the constitution.