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Madras HC stalls Puducherry civic polls again over lack of quota

 
Chennai, Oct 11 (IANS) The Madras High Court on Monday put on hold the local body elections in Puducherry, scheduled to be held in three phases on November 2, 7, and 13, for violating the constitutional mandate for providing reservation to Backward Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

An interim stay order was issued by a division bench of Justice R. Mahadevan and Justice Abdul Quddhose on a petition filed by DMK legislator R. Siva who prayed before the court that the poll process be kept in abeyance till October 21.

It also posted the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee.

In the order, the bench said: "All further proceedings shall be kept in abeyance and the matter is directed to be listed on October 21 before the first bench for filing counter affidavit and for filing further orders."

It noted that the bench headed by Chief Justice Banerjee had permitted the Puducherry government and the State Election Commission to clear and set right the anomalies pointed out in the writ petitions appeared before it regarding the local body elections.

"However instead of setting right the anomalies pointed out, the notifications for providing reservations for BCs and STs was rescinded," the bench said.

A fresh election notification was issued to reschedule the polls for five municipalities and 10 commune panchayats in three phases on November 2, 7, and 13. The original notification to hold polls on October 21, 25, and 28 was cancelled following non-compliance with reservations for women and Scheduled Castes.

--IANS
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