SEC to HC: Local bodies poll plan possible only 3 months after govt accepts delimitation plan
The DMK has moved the court seeking contempt actions against the poll panel officials, allegedly for violating last year's court order to notify the local body elections schedule by September 18 and complete it by November 17 of 2017
The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission today told the Madras High Court that it could notify the election schedule for the local body polls only three months after the government accepts the delimitation proposal. The delimitation proposal itself is likely to be submitted by August 31, said the poll panel counsel A L Somayaji, countering a DMK plea for initiation of contempt proceedings against the State Election Commissioner and the SEC secretary.
The DMK has moved the court seeking contempt actions against the poll panel officials, allegedly for violating last year's court order to notify the local body elections schedule by September 18 and complete it by November 17 of 2017. The poll panel counsel made the submission to a bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, hearing the DMK plea.
The government has to first issue the notification detailing the newly-delimited wards of the rural and urban local bodies after the delimitation committee completes its exercise, which was likely by August 31, said Somayaji. He explained to the court that a three-month period was required for preparation of the ward-wise electoral rolls for local bodies based on the newly-delimited wards in all 12,524 village panchayats, 388 panchayat unions, 31 district panchayats, 528 town panchayats, 124 municipalities and 12 corporations.
The time was also required for making other pre-poll preparations, including the establishment of polling stations and securing EVMs, indelible inks, ballot boxes and other polling materials, the senior counsel pointed out. The delimiting process has been taken up in nearly 1.20 lakh wards, comprising 99,324 of village panchayats, 6,472 of panchayat unions and 655 of district panchayats for the rural local bodies and 8,288 of town panchayats, 3,613 of municipalities and 919 of the corporations of the urban civic bodies, he said, adding the process was nearing completion only then.
Opposing the SEC's submissions, DMK counsel P Wilson asserted that it was time for the court "to fix the schedule for imprisonment of the commissioner and secretary" as they have committed contempt by violating the court order."
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