Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], February 25 (ANI): The Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court has directed the state government and State Election Commission (SEC) to hold urban body elections without any delay.
The court's direction came on a plea filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Bharat Parekh through advocate Harshwardhan Sharma. The plea was filed on February 20, last year.
"Bharat Parekh, Councillor of ward 71 of Indore Municipal Corporation has filed a plea in the Madhya Pradesh High Court. In the plea, we have apprised that court that it is under the constitution that a notification needs to be issued by the government and the State Election Commission (SEC) before the end of the 5-year term of a municipal corporation, municipality, or Nagar panchayat," advocate Sharma told ANI.
"Despite this, the state government and the State Election Commission continued to hold elections without any reason. After we filed the petition on February 20, 2020, the Honorable High Court asked the Commissioner of the SEC to submit a written affidavit detailing the reason for the delay," he added.
The advocate said that the hearing of the petition could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was scheduled to be heard today and the court order. After the submission made by the state government and SEC, the High Court has given clear direction to both to hold elections without any delay," he said.
The plea was filed as people of the state were being deprived of their right to elect their representative, the lawyer said.
"The Court had asked the SEC why there was a delay in holding the municipal elections. The Election Commission had responded in an affidavit that the delay was there as the state government has not released the final list of voters. The government was asked to present its stand," advocate Sharma said.
"Today, an advocate who presented the state government in the court said that efforts are on to complete the election proceedings as soon as possible," he added.
After hearing the submissions, the two-judge Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising Justice Sujoy Paul and Justice Shailendra Shukla gave instructions to hold the election without any delay.
It is worth mentioning that on 20 February 2020, the term of the civic body came to an end. The Congress government was in power at that time under the Chief Minister was Kamal Nath. The Congress government was in power at that time under Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Later government collapsed in March 2020 and Shivraj Singh Chouhan became the chief minister of the state. (ANI)