TN govt must ensure free and fair polls to civic bodies: Madras High Court

Agreeing to the demand of AIADMK, the AG said poll observer for each of the panchayat unions can be nominated.

Published: 02nd October 2021 05:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2021 05:47 AM   |  A+A-

Madras High Court

Madras High Court (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government authorities, involved in election work, to discharge their duties in such a way that a free and fair poll is conducted for the rural civic bodies in the nine districts.

Disposing of a petition filed by the principal opposition, AIADMK, the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu said, "All government functionaries are to ensure a free and fair poll so that there is no element of any grievance or complaint."

Appreciating former Advocate General (AG) Vijay Narayan, who appeared for AIADMK, and the current AG R Shanmugasundaram, representing the State govt, for making their case in a gracious manner, the bench said, "It is hoped that the elections for the local bodies are conducted in the same spirit as addressed in the court."

It recorded the AG's willingness to increase the CCTV coverage to 100 per cent booths with continuous and uninterrupted coverage prior to the beginning of polling and till the closing, and install CCTVs inside the strong rooms, apart from the outer side, to the possible extent to ensure safety of the ballot boxes.
Details of the location of counting centres and strong rooms will be made public to the political parties as agreed by the AG, it stated.

Agreeing to the demand of AIADMK, the AG said poll observer for each of the panchayat unions can be nominated.

Earlier, Vijay Narayan stated that list of vulnerable/critical polling booths were not disclosed in the four page note submitted by the government. He also said videographing be done on 100 per cent booths and details of counting centres and strong room be disclosed.

Nine districts including Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, Ranipet, Vellore, Tirupathur, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi are set to go for rural civic body polls on 6 and 9 October in two phases. 


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