Local body polls: SC sets deadline to SEC

Chennai: The Supreme Court today gave a deadline till 15 September for the Tamilnadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) to conduct local body polls in nine new districts in the State.

The local body elections have not been conducted in these nine districts for more than two years, the Court observed.

Senior advocate PS Narasimha who appeared on behalf of the TNSEC informed the Court that Tamilnadu has logged highest number of coronavirus cases and also added that delimitation has to be done in the newly carved districts.

He also said that the TNSEC needed more time because electronic voting machines will have to be brought from Election Commission of India.

After hearing the argument, Justice Hemant Gupta, heading a two-judge bench also comprising of Justice Aniruddha Bose, replied, “Covid is a good excuse in all matters. We know the reality in these matters, unless and until political parties are ready, elections are not held.”

The court said the notification for the elections was issued in 2019. ‘The delimitation was supposed to be done in four months,’ Justice Gupta observed.
Following this the Court gave TNSEC time till 15 September to complete the election process.

Local body polls were conducted in Tamilnadu in 2019 leaving out nine new districts where delimitation had to be done. The tenure of the previous local body had ended in 2016.

It may be noted that in December last year, the Supreme Court had granted six months’ extension to complete the delimitation exercise and conduct the local body elections in the nine districts. Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Thirupathur, Ranipet, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi are the districts where the election has to be held.

 

NT Bureau