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SEC told to give affidavit promising completion of civic polls by July end

The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the State Election Commissioner M Malik Feroze Khan to file an affidavit on Monday swearing that the election process will be completed by July end. The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) sought more time to hold the local body polls citing ongoing revision of electoral rolls in the state.

SEC told to give affidavit promising completion of civic polls by July end
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Madras High Court

Chennai

A division bench comprising Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice N Satish Kumar before whom an appeal filed by the TNSEC came up for hearing, asked the counsel for the Election Commission about the difficulty in holding the polls and why constant extension is being sought?

However, the bench on making clear that the date when the poll process would be completed must be finalised, posted the matter for final hearing to Monday. 

Earlier, senior advocate P Wilson appearing on behalf of RS Bharathi of DMK, who was the original petitioner in the case, submitted that a single judge had directed the SEC to complete the election process by December 31, 2016. But the SEC, which filed an appeal against this order citing some practical difficulties had sought time until May 14 to conduct the polls. 

But not withstanding this assurance, the Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Election Commission, has now filed another affidavit seeking extension until July end to complete the poll process, he said and sought the bench to direct the Commissioner to give an undertaking that no further extension will be sought for. 

The TNSEC Secretary in his affidavit had sought time until July end to complete the local body election process citing the timeline prescribed for preparation of the electoral roll by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). 

Noting that converting data to NIC format from that of ECI is a must to facilitate the multiple online data entry and is time consuming, he said the data of 5.92 crore voters need to be demarcated and assigned to the specific wards in the respective town panchayats, village panchayats, municipalities and corporations.

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