Hyderabad: The vacation bench of the Telangana High Court on Thursday suspended the orders issued by the State Election Commission disqualifying aspirants for the ensuing gram panchayat elections on the ground that they had not submitted the final accounts of election expenditure for the polls held in 2013.
Justice P. Kesava Rao was dealing with about 100 petitions from individuals challenging the orders which declared them ineligible for a period of three years to contest any election held under the provisions of the Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 1994.
The SEC mentioning that the candidates had not obeyed Section 230-B of the Act and other rules, which specifies that every candidate shall submit an account of his or her election expenses within 45 days from the date of declaration of results. It issued disqualification orders barring 1,200 candidates from contesting the gram panchayat elections. All of them had contested the elections from the erstwhile Karimnagar district.
Counsels for the petitioners submitted that the orders were illegally issued by the SEC as the commission had not taken timely action for non-compliance of the rules.
They submitted that the expiry date for submission of accounts ended in 2014, while the authorities took action in 2018. Counsels informed that before issuing the orders the petitioners were not asked about their contentions. The commission had unilaterally banned the petitioners from contesting, they said.
The petitioners urged that the disqualification orders be stayed to allow them to contest in the elections....