Counsel for the SEC made the submission on a contempt plea moved by the DMK for alleged wilful disobedience of court order in conducting the polls.
The case relates to the contempt petition filed by R S Bharathi of the DMK against the State Election Commission for not complying with the order of the court directing that the local body polls be completed by November 17, 2017.
The delimitation process of wards as per the 2011 census would be over in 90 days and election could be notified after that, the SEC informed a division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice M Sundar.
Recording the submission, the bench directed the SEC to report the status of the plea moved by it in the Supreme Court seeking more time to conduct the elections and to file a report on the delimitation process by January 28.
The contempt plea wanted the court to punish authorities of SEC, state municipal administration and panchayat raj for wilful disobedience of court order in conducting civic polls and send the officials directly to jail.
On September 4, 2017 the first bench of the court headed by the then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee (now elevated to the Supreme Court) had ordered that the SEC must issue election notification by September 18, 2017 and complete the entire election process by November 17, 2017.
As the SEC failed to notify election as directed, the DMK moved the contempt plea.
The civic polls were scheduled for October 2016 but was stalled by a single judge, citing procedural irregularities in notifying election.
Challenging the order, the SEC moved an appeal in which the court directed to complete the election by November 2017.
During the hearing of the contempt plea, the first bench rapped the SEC and state government for dragging the polls. When the issue was about to reach a logical conclusion, the then Chief Justice got elevated to the apex court.
Subsequently, the issue was referred to a special bench headed by Justice Sathyanarayanan.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)