A view of the Supreme Court building, in New Delhi, India.

A view of the Supreme Court building, in New Delhi, India.

Local body polls put on hold by Supreme Court in 9 new Tamil Nadu districts

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had filed the petition seeking a stay on State Election Commission’s recent notification to conduct civic polls.
A view of the Supreme Court building, in New Delhi, India.
A view of the Supreme Court building, in New Delhi, India.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (SEC) to conduct civic polls in the state, except in the newly-constituted nine districts.

With the apex court partially clearing the decks for local body elections, the SEC stated it would release a new notification to conduct the polls.

Earlier, the SEC had announced that civic polls would be held for rural seats of local bodies on December 27 and 30. It had further said that election dates for urban local bodies would be revealed later.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bopde ordered the SEC to conduct the civic polls in the districts except for the newly bifurcated districts including Villupuram, Kallakkurichi, Ranipet, Thiruppattur, Vellore, Chengalpet, Kancheepuram, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi for complying with legal formalities such as a fresh delimitation exercise and for deciding the issue of reservation for women and SC/ST candidates.

Kallakkurichi was earlier with Villupuram district. Ranipet and Thiruppattur were with Vellore district. Chengalpet was bifurcated from Kancheepuram district. Tenkasi district was carved out from Villupuram. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had officially inaugurated the new districts last month.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which filed the petition seeking a stay on SEC’s recent notification to conduct civic polls, said that the SC judgement is a victory for the party’s legal struggle.

“We don’t want to halt civic polls. But, we are asking to conduct properly. The SEC had failed to do correct ward delimitations in the newly formed districts. Also, reservation for women and tribal were not followed in the right way in the new districts,” said DMK advocate P Wilson.

The DMK Rajya Sabha MP further said that his party is happy as the SC stayed elections only in the nine districts where the ward delimitations and women and tribal reservation were not drafted accurately.

“Even as the SC asked the TN SEC to conduct elections in other districts, we are not sure that the commission will accomplish the elections,” Wilson added.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that SC had given a landmark judgement.

“While AIADMK government was eager to face the civic polls, it was DMK which went to the court for staying the elections. However, the court has allowed conducting the elections now. We hope the SEC will soon hold the elections,” Palaniswami told the media.

Tamil Nadu Station Election Commissioner R Palaniswamy said he has to read the full judgement of the SC before commenting on it.

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