Stay over civic polls extended for 3 more weeks

Stay over civic polls extended for 3 more weeks

A Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday posted the hearing on DMK’s petition on local body elections in Tamil Nadu for three more weeks, thus, in effect, extending the stay on conducting the elections. The next hearing will be on December 6.

When the appeal came up for hearing before the bench of justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and justice V Parthiban, the DMK, on whose plea the local body elections were originally quashed, sought time to file its reply.

DMK’s counsel Wilson said, “the state election commission has filed a 27-page petition. We need time to reply to it in an elaborate way.” Since the advocates of the government and the SEC did not object to it, the judges postponed the hearing by three weeks.

This has raised the question as to whether the local body elections would be held by the end of December as directed by Justice Kirubakaran while quashing the notifications for the elections scheduled to take place on October 17 and 19.

In his order on October 4, the judge directed that the elections should be held by December after issuing fresh notifications.

On a writ plea filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or DMK leader and Rajya Sabha member RS Barathy, the court, in its interim order, declared the poll notification dated September 26 null and void.

The DMK had sought adequate reservation to the Scheduled Tribes, and necessary rotation of seats in all the posts as mandated in the Constitution.

Quashing the notification, the court said, “the notification informing the public about election is to be issued first as per rule 24 (2) (i) of Tamil Nadu Panchayat Rules.” Only thereafter, the poll schedule notification should be published according to rule 24 (1), it said.