KOCHI: The High Court on Wednesday directed the Election Commission (EC) to file a statement explaining the reasons for postponing the elections to the three Rajya Sabha seats from the state which will become vacant on April 21. When the petition filed by the Kerala Legislative Assembly secretary and two others challenging the EC’s decision came up for hearing, the poll panel’s counsel Deepu Lal Mohan said there is no statutory mandate to conduct the biennial elections before the expiry of the members’ term. The counsel said it is solely within the panel’s domain to fix the date of election notification and schedule.
The EC said it would announce and notify the elections before the expiry of the members’ term. The petition is merely based on apprehension, hence it is premature, the panel said.When Justice P V Asha asked why the elections were postponed, the counsel said the election notification has not come out and the commission had only released a press note.The petitioners contended that the EC had not stated the reasons or extraordinary circumstances for keeping the process in abeyance.The court adjourned the hearing in the case to April 9.