The Madras High Court has dismissed a plea moved by Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol Thirumavalavan seeking to declare as unconstitutional an ordinance promulgated by the state government on November 20 for changing the mode of election to the posts of mayors and municipal chairpersons from direct to indirect elections.
Moreover, the move to hold indirect elections cannot be held as being undemocratic and unconstitutional, the bench said.
Thirumavalavan had submitted that neither the Constitution nor the municipal laws, the ordinance has amended provided for holding elections either to the Parliament, the Legislative Assembly or the local bodies based on political parties.
Political parties may sponsor candidates to contest under their name to give an ideological identity to a group of candidates. But political parties in fact do not have any legal footing in the elections, the plea said.
The counsel appearing for Thirumavalvan had contended that the indirect elections would deprive independent candidates from contesting for the post of mayors and chairperson of municipalities and town panchayats while even the public would be deprived their right of electing the mayor or chairperson.
It was also submitted that the post of Mayor and chairpersons pertaining to local body polls cannot be equated to that of a Speaker either in the state legislature or Parliament who are elected through indirect elections.
Based on this, the plea sought the court to quash the amendment brought about on November 20 in this regard as illegal. As per the ordinance, the indirect elections would apply to 15 corporations, 121 municipalities and 528 town panchayats.