DMK moves HC for contempt against SEC, others

Chennai: The DMK today moved the Madras High Court seeking contempt proceedings against the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission and state government officials for not complying with the court’s order on holding local body elections.

The DMK, represented by its organisation secretary R S Bharathi, sought contempt action against the officials for not implementing the court’s September 4 order directing the SEC to issue the notification for the polls on September 18 and complete the entire process by November 17.

The court gave the order while delivering its judgement on an appeal by the SEC against the order of a single judge directing it to hold the local body polls before December 31, 2016 and connected petitions.

The local body polls were originally slated to be held in October last year, but cancelled by Justice N Kirubakaran on a petition by the DMK seeking among others appropriate reservation as per latest census and rotation of seats according to the norms.

A mention was today made by senior counsel P Wilson for the DMK about the contempt plea before the first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, which accepted to hear it on October 9.

The petitioner also referred to the ordinances issued by the state government on September 3, a day before the court was to deliver its verdict on the matter, repealing certain sections of Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1994.

Questioning the urgency to issue the ordinance on a Sunday, the petitioner alleged this “shows sheer abuse of power and to overreach the court proceedings”.

Citing the repeal of the sections, the SEC had moved the court on September 18, saying there was a legal disability in conducting the polls as directed by the court and sought to keep in abeyance the September 4 order.

The acts of the respondents were certainly contemptuous and overreaching the court proceedings particularly when the matters were heard and reserved for orders, he alleged.

He also alleged that State Election Commissioner M Malik Ferozh Khan, a constitutional authority appointed specifically to conduct local body elections, was indulging in all acts for forestalling the same.

His actions and conduct amounted to breach of trust and faith the Constitution had reposed on him, the petitioner alleged.

Stating that authorities were bound by the orders of this court and constitutional mandates and cannot dance to the tunes of the political masters, petitioner sought maximum punishment for the officials.

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