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Guj HC stays EC instruction on appointment of polling agents

Press Trust of India  |  Ahmedabad 

The High today stayed the Commission's (EC) directive that the polling agents appointed by the candidates in the upcoming should be residents of the area covered under the polling booth concerned or neighbouring booths.

A division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and A Y Kogje passed an interim direction, stating that a candidate contesting the could appoint any voter or resident from the constituency as his or her polling agent at any polling station.

The also issued notices to the EC and the chief electoral officer, Gujarat, seeking replies by December 20.

The unit and the party's candidate from the Gondal constituency, Arjun Khataria, had challenged the EC's direction, contained in a handbook where the criteria for appointing polling agents were spelt out.

The handbook states that the polling agents should be residents of the area covered under the polling station concerned (where they are sought to be appointed) or neighbouring polling stations.

The petitioners had contended that the EC had no authority to frame such guidelines under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

This amounted to usurping of the candidate's powers to appoint polling agents of his or her choice, the petitioners had said.

will go to the polls in two phases -- on December 9 and December 14.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, December 07 2017. 22:30 IST