Madras High Court Issues Notice To Tamil Nadu Election Commission On Local Body Polls

The others who were issued notices were the Chief Secretary, Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, and Secretary, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department.

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Madras High Court Issues Notice To Tamil Nadu Election Commission On Local Body Polls

The Madras High Court today issued notice to the state election commission

Chennai:  The Madras High Court today issued notice to the state election commission and other officials in Tamil Nadu on a fresh petition by the DMK for holding local body polls within a time frame as may be fixed by the court.

The petition was filed by DMK organisation secretary R S Bharathi. When it came up, Justice M Duraiswamy issued notices returnable by four weeks to officials including M Malik Feroze Khan, the state election commissioner.

The others who were issued notices were the Chief Secretary, Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, and Secretary, Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department.

Senior advocate P Wilson, who appeared on behalf of the petitioner, submitted that the counsel for the State Election Commission (SEC) had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court that the elections would be held in July 2017.

When the matter came up in the apex court, the counsel sought extension of time, but till date the state government has not taken any steps to go ahead and start the election process, he contended.

He also cited the previous petitions filed by the DMK in this regard and the undertakings given by the Election Commission before the Supreme Court and high court.

The petitioner said from time to time, the term of special officers were being extended by the state government.

The recent amendment to municipal laws extended the term of special officers up to December 31, he said.

"The net effect is that the state government is managing the constitutional bodies with the help of special officers under the garb of pendency of writ appeal and special leave petitions before the High Court and Supreme Court."

He said the DMK had opposed the bills and extension of the terms of the special officers in the state assembly.

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The petitioner submitted that the a bill to form a delimitation commission was introduced in the assembly on July 10 solely with an intention to further delay the local body election process.

The petitioner said he was aggrieved over the indefinite extension of term of special officers "by frequent passing of ordinances and government orders" and sought a direction to the state government and the SEC to hold local body polls within a time frame as may be fixed by the court.

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