CHENNAI: The second Bench of Madras High Court has directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to file a sworn affidavit that the polls to the local bodies in the State will be completed by July 31.
Earlier on April 13, the SEC secretary T S Rajasekar had filed an additional affidavit pleading the first Bench to grant further extension of time to July 31 to complete the entire election process, after the appointment of a regular commissioner for SEC and after due consultation with the government as stated in rules.
When the matter came up today, the senior advocate P Wilson informed the second Bench of Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice N Sathish Kumar that the SEC was not interested in holding the local body polls in the near future. The earlier directive of a single judge to hold the polls by December 31, 2016 and that of the first Bench by May 14, had been thrown to the winds, he said.
“Let the SEC itself file a sworn affidavit sticking to the above time schedule and that it will not ask for any more time,” Wilson demanded. After finding that there was some force in Wilson’s argument, the Bench directed the SEC counsel to file the sworn affidavit and posted the matter for further hearing on Monday.
Originally, while passing interim orders on a batch of writ petitions, including one from DMK propoganda secretary and Rajya Sabha member RS Bharathi, Justice N Kirubakaran on October 4 last year had quashed the notification dated September 26 of the State Government proposing to hold the polls on October 17 and October 19 and directed the Government to conduct it before December 31.
Aggrieved, the State SEC preferred the present appeal. And the first Bench had directed the SEC to complete the election process by May 14. Later it pleaded for extension of time till July 31.