Election to the local bodies in Tamil Nadu cannot be held by May 14, as directed by the Madras High Court, in view of 'practical difficulties', the State Election Commission today informed the court.
Certain processes in connection with elections had not yet been completed by the state government, it said.
"In this circumstance, it is not practically possible for the commission to complete the election process byMay 14," Senior counsel B Kumar, appearing for the SEC, said.
He made the submission before the first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice R M T Teeka Raman during the hearing of an intervening petition related to civic polls filed by social activist A Narayanan.
Relying on a directive by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, the petitioner contended that the elections to local bodies cannot be deferred beyond six months after the expiry of their term.
Senior counsel for the petitioner N L Rajah said postponing the election beyond six months would be violation of the Constitutional mandate.
After the submission by the SEC, the court said the poll body cannot be forced to conduct the elections when they claim that there were practical difficulties.
The bench then directed the SEC to file by April 3 a detailed counter affidavit explaining the difficulties and also on the Constitutional bar referred to by the petitioner.
Earlier on February 22, a division bench of the court had directed the SEC to conduct the local bodies elections not later thanMay 14.
The commission was also directed to "truthfully" comply with the directions issued earlier by a single judge, including making mandatory the filing of affidavits declaring criminal antecedents of candidates and uploading them on the commission's website.
The term of local bodies in the state had expired in October last year and the state government had appointed special officers to run them pending the elections.
Initially, the SEC had announced the polls would be held on October 17 and 19, but the notification was set aside by the single judge.
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