Chennai: The Madras high court on Tuesday struck down the notification on local body elections in Tamil Nadu. A single-member bench set aside the notification, saying it was “not in accordance with law,” and directed the state election commission to issue a fresh notification.
The poll process should be completed by December this year, observed the court. While the direct civic polls for urban and rural local bodies for the 12 corporations were scheduled in two phases on 17 and 19 October, indirect elections to the posts of mayors, municipality chairman, other local body chiefs and deputy chiefs were to be held on 2 November.
The opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had earlier filed a petition in the Madras high court. On 27 September, the court had orally observed that the notification on local body polls had been issued “in a rush” and without giving time to political parties to prepare.
The state election commission on a Sunday evening (25 September) notified the dates and the process of receiving nominations commenced the next day itself. “Secrecy was maintained at all levels. Even the election schedule was announced on Sunday, which is a holiday, at 6.15pm. Filing of nomination was to start the very next day,” DMK’s senior counsel in the court on the 27 September.