Conduct TN local body polls by Nov 17, HC tells SEC

Conduct TN local body polls by Nov 17, HC tells SEC

The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission to complete the local body elections by November 17.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar ordered the SEC to issue by September 18 the notification for the elections, originally slated to be held in October last year, and complete the entire process by November 17.

The polls, which were to have been held last October, were cancelled by Justice N Kirubakaran on a petition filed by DMK for non-compliance of Rule 24 of Tamil Nadu Panchayat (Election) Rules of 1995 that contemplates issuance of advance notifications.

The first bench on Monday delivered the judgment based on an appeal by SEC against the order of the single judge directing it to hold local body polls before December 31, 2016 and connected petitions. This is, however, subject to the Supreme Court order of special leave petitions pending likely to be passed on September 6, the bench said.

Around 1.32 lakh people, 50 per cent of them women, will be elected to the civic bodies, which include 12 municipal corporations, 148 municipalities, 561 town panchayats, 12,620 village panchayats, 385 panchayat unions and 32 district panchayats.

The bench passed the order on PILs moved by DMK and Change India, including an appeal preferred by the SEC, assailing the order of a single judge dated October 4, 2016, cancelling the election notification dated September 26, 2016, citing non-compliance with the Tamil Nadu Panchayat (Elections) Rules, 1995.