Madras High Court seeks SEC’s pledge to hold civic polls by July end

The Madras High Court today askedthe state election commissioner to file a sworn affidavit pledging that the local body elections will be held by July end.

Madras High Court, Sarkaria Commission, V Anbazhagan, Tamil Nadu, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, M Sundar, Constitution of India
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, rejected the writ petition filed by journalist and social activist V Anbazhagan.

The Madras High Court today asked the state election commissioner to file a sworn affidavit pledging that the local body elections will be held by July end. The bench of justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and N Sathish Kumar sought the SEC’s promise while adjudicating the poll panel’s plea to extend time for holding the election to July end this year as it was not feasible for it to meet the May 14 deadline.

When the matter came up, counsel for R S Bharathi, a DMK member who had originally moved the court for holding the civic polls at the earliest, argued that the poll panel had been asked by a single judge bench earlier to conduct it by December 31, 2016.

He pointed out that the SEC then challenged the order, citing practical difficulties and sought further time to conduct the local body polls by giving an undertaking that the elections will be held by May 14.

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The SEC again on April 13 filed an affidavit in the courtseeking extension of the time to complete the process of local body elections by July 2017 end, he said.

“Let the state election commissioner himself file a swornaffidavit sticking to the time schedule mentioned and let him also give an undertaking that he will not ask for further postponement of the elections,” the counsel added.

The judge sought to know from the counsel for SEC as to why the commission sought extension of the time. He then ordered the SEC counsel to file a sworn affidavit and posted the matter to April 24.

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