Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Monday asked the state election commission (SEC) not to issue the election notification for 120 municipalities and 10 municipal corporations till Tuesday evening, by when it would decide on the legality of the poll schedule released on December 23.
According to the SEC’s schedule, the notification is to be issued on January 7 and elections held on January 23. Challenging this, Telangana state Congress president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and several others had approached the High Court.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy heard the petitions post noon on Monday. As the arguments remained incomplete, the court adjourned the hearing to Tuesday as the first case to be heard at 10.30 am. Senior counsel Desai Prakash Reddy, representing Mr Uttam Kumar Reddy, said the schedule issued by the SEC was also the notification under the terms of the Telangana Municipalities Act. He said that it was contrary to sub-sections 1, 2, 3 of Section 195 of the Act. He said that issuing the election notification before announcing the reservation of wards was clashing with the Act.
With that, Chief Justice Chauhan asked the SEC, “Suppose I belong to the SC community and I do not know whether my ward is going to be reserved for SCs or not. If the SEC does not give me sufficient time, how can I obtain a caste certificate.” Senior counsel C.V. Mohan Reddy, representing the SEC, said the election notice of December 23 was just meant to call upon the voters to exercise their vote as per the schedule that would commence on January 7.
Mr Mohan Reddy submitted that the finalisation of reservations was not the duty of the SEC and it was to be performed by the state government.
“As per Rule 7(2C) of the Municipalities Act, a candidate aspiring to contest an election in a reserved seat has to give a self-declaration that he belongs to the particular reserved community. There is no need to submit the caste certificate,” he said.
With arguments remaining incomplete, the court adjourned the case to Tuesday and directed the SEC to furnish the chronology of the dates and the rules and election manual which is to be followed to conduct the polls before issuing the notification....