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HC Gives Green Signal for Municipal Polls, Rejects Writ Petitions

Hyderabad, Oct.22 (PMI): The High Court today gave green signal for holding elections to municipal corporations and municipalities in the Telangana State. After hearing arguments of both sides, the High Court dismissed the petitions citing violation of norms. With this, the State government is to take steps and the Election Commission will go ahead for the municipal polls in the near future.
A two-judge bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy rejected two writ petitions questioning the ongoing process. Declining to intervene, the court said the Election Commission will take steps on division of wards, reservations and other issues to hold the polls. The State has a total of 13 municipal corporations and 128 municipalities. Of them, 10 corporations and 121 municipalities are to go to the polls.
According to the information, the tenure of three municipal corporations Greater Hyderabad, Greater Warangal and Greater Khammam was not completed. The tenure of Siddipet and Achchampet Municipalities also was not completed. Due to some problems, elections to five other municipalities will not be held. Consequently, only 10 corporations and 121 municipalities are likely to go for polls in the State. The court said the Election Commission and the State government will coordinate to take care of the polls as per set norms.
When the petitioner one Anju Kumar Reddy filed a writ complaining improper identification of Constituency/Wards, Chief Justice Chauhan pointed out that there was a Constitutional Bar under Article 243 ZG and that such issues can only be raised before the Election Tribunal. The bench refused to quash the government order issued on June 29 on the ground that there was an absolute Constitutional Bar.
In a connected writ plea on the question of identification of SC, ST, BC and women voters and preparation of voters lists, the bench refused to interfere. It reasoned that the allegations were without any cogent evidence. It also pointed out that persons affected were not before the court. Noticing that the electoral roll was based on the Assembly elections rolls, it pointed out that other grounds raised were premature.

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