October 18, 2016
Chennai: The Madras High Court today refused to cancel its earlier order of quashing the local body elections.
Hearing an appeal filed by the State Election Commission’s Secretary Rajasekaran, the Bench comprising Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh and Justice V. Parthiban, ordered notices to the Tamil Nadu Government and the main opposition DMK, on whose petition the civic elections, scheduled for October 17 and 19, were stayed earlier.
Directing them to file a reply within four weeks, the Court extended the stay till that period.
Appearing for the State Election Commission, its counsel Kumar said it was not possible to cancel the nominations of those who did not give information about their criminal background.
Advocate Wilson, who appeared on behalf of the DMK, alleged that the State Election Commission and the Tamil Nadu Government were working hand in glove. This is for the second time the High Court refusing to cancel its order quashing the civic polls, it is to be noted.
On October 4, the court set aside the notification for civic polls in Tamil Nadu scheduled for 17 and 19 October and directed authorities to issue a fresh one for holding the election by December.
The court set aside the notification for the polls on a petition from DMK leader and Rajya Sabha member R.S. Bharathi alleging that rules were not followed and mandatory reservation for Scheduled Tribes was not provided in the civic posts. Allowing the petition, the court directed that polls be held by December following issuance of a fresh notification.
As many as 4,97,840 nominations were filed by candidates to contest from over 1.31 lakh civic body posts, including 1,18,974 posts in rural and 12,820 posts in urban local bodies.
The State Election Commission had announced that all preparations were done and it had directed poll observers – 27 IAS officials and 8 District Revenue Officers – to be stationed at their respective districts.