Hyderabad: The Supreme Court on Monday directed that the counting of votes and declaration of results of municipalities and municipal corporations elections will be done after May 7.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice V. Gopal Gowda was dealing with a special leave petition challenging an interim order of the AP High Court which had directed the AP State Election Commission to declare the results on April 9.
The apex court said that it was unable to appreciate the stance of the AP State Election Commission in the case of Panchayat Raj elections schedule and the contrary stance in the case of the municipal polls. The commission has re-scheduled the MPTC and ZTPC poll results, but stuck to the schedule announced for municipal polls.
The apex court refuted the contention of the SEC that it would be difficult for it to preserve the EVMs for nearly 45 days, and there was a possibility that the machines would catch fire in the summer heat.
The commission also told the court that there would be a shortage of EVMs for the general elections and the Election Commission of India has already requested the SEC to supply a certain number of EVMs for polls in the state.
The bench said it was the responsibility of the commission to preserve the ballot boxes till the declaration of results, and cautioned the commission not to plead any technical grounds at this juncture....