HC grants permission to Puducherry Election Commission to rescind local body poll notification

Commission to issue a fresh notification within five days after correcting anomalies in reserving seats

The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted permission to the Puducherry State Election Commission (SEC) to withdraw a notification issued by it on September 22 for holding local body polls in the Union Territory and issue a fresh notification within five days after correcting all anomalies in reserving the wards.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu were informed by Additional Solicitor General R. Sankaranarayanan that the government had decided not to reserve any of the seats for Backward Classes and Scheduled Tribes and to reserve certain wards only for the Scheduled Castes.

SEC counsel V. Chandrasekharan told the court that since the government had decided to make changes to the pattern in which the wards were to reserved, the commission had consequently decided to withdraw the election notification already issued and come up with a fresh notification for the polls.

After hearing them, the judges hoped that the new notification would not carry any mistake and would be free from all anomalies. The observation was made while disposing of two writ petitions filed in the court highlighting the anomalies in reserving wards for the Backward Classes and the Scheduled Castes.

The cases were filed by Muthialpet MLA J. Pregash Kumar and N. Periannan of Karuvadikuppam. When the judges concurred with the petitioners with regard to the anomalies, the ASG made a recommendation to the Puducherry government to defer the elections until the anomalies were corrected.

On Monday, Mr. Sankaranarayanan told the court that his recommendation was pending the Chief Minister’s consideration. Hence, the judges ordered that the receipt of nominations should be kept in abeyance and adjourned the case to Tuesday to know the decision taken by the government.

The ASG reverted back stating that the government had decided to rescind the present election notification and issue a fresh notification within five days.

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