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The State Election Commission today said in the Orissa High Court that no rules governing the elections should be altered midway once the poll process begins. SEC counsel Pitambar Acharya objecting to the recent amendment to Odisha Zilla Parishad Election rules argued that the Supreme Court had repeatedly observed that the government should refrain from interfering with the election process once it commenced. Even the courts should not interfere either, he stated. "The settled law is that no government or court should interfere with the election process when it is halfway through," the SEC counsel said. The Panchayati Raj department of the state government on March 8 this year amended the Election Rules of 1994 by incorporating a new clause just four days before the scheduled elections for the post of presidents of Zilla Parishads fixed on March 12. An elected zilla parishad member of Sundargarh district had approached the High Court challenging the state government's move. A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Vineet Saran, has posted the case for next hearing on Thursday.
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