Puducherry civic body polls: Madras HC puts filing of nominations on hold over 'anomalies'
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu issued orders on a batch of petitions challenging the poll notifications citing the anomalies in reservation of seats
CHENNAI: In the wake of allegations of anomalies in reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Backward Classes (BCs) and women, the Madras High Court on Monday ordered the Puducherry civic body poll process to be put on hold.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu issued orders on a batch of petitions challenging the poll notifications citing anomalies in reservation of seats.
“... the process of receiving nominations which has already begun, will be kept in abeyance,” the bench said.
Following a submission from the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) R Sankaranarayan that the Union territory was advised by the Centre to defer the polls, the bench pronounced the orders.
It added, “It is best that the anomalies be addressed first and removed before the process is undertaken afresh.”
The court also noted that it is submitted by the ASG that the Union territory is deferring the elections to the local bodies scheduled to be held from October 21. It was further submitted that the matter has been placed before the highest decision making authorities and a decision is expected at the earliest.
The case has been adjourned to Tuesday (October 5).
Earlier, Sankaranarayan submitted before the court that the Centre has advised the Union territory to defer the polls and wanted the petitions to be heard on October 7.
The Chief Minister of Puducherry would take a decision, he stated.
The commencement of filing of nominations to the first phase of polling was scheduled for September 30 but it was stayed by the court seeking the Union territory authorities to come up with a satisfactory response on rectification of the anomalies. However, on Friday the court allowed filing of nominations.
The Independent MLA representing Muthialpet Assembly segment J Pregash Kumar and a former civic body councillor N Periannan filed the petitions before the court seeking a stay on the poll notifications.
The first phase of the polling is scheduled for October 21 and the next two phases on October 25 and 28 for five municipalities and 10 commune panchayats.