CHENNAI: The first bench of Madras High Court has upheld a rule, which provided for draw of lots in case of tie in the matter relating to election of president and vice-president to Panchayat Unions. The bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad, which upheld the Rule, however, observed that it is for the Legislature to decide its continuation.
“The question as to whether there can be an alternative method to resolve the dispute, is for the legislature to decide and not for the Court to suggest,” the bench said, on February 11. It was dismissing a writ petition from K Devadass, who sought to declare Rule 67(1)(c) of Tamil Nadu Panchayats (Elections) Rules, 1995, as null and void and consequently to set aside the election of M Kalaivani as the president of Adaiyur Village Panchayat in Tiruvannamalai, which was announced on January 2.
The bench pointed out that in this case, the petitioner himself took a chance of facing the draw of lots and having failed to secure the same in his favour, has now challenged the very rule that provides for the same.
“This challenge has been raised after elections. It could have given rise to an election dispute to be raised before an appropriate forum, but since the vires of the Rule itself has been questioned and that was the only challenge raised, we find no merit in the contention,” the bench said.