“Ego Between Two Authorities Causing All This Lawlessness”:Supreme Court Dismisses AP Govt.’s Plea Against Panchayat Election Schedule

first_imgTop Stories”Ego Between Two Authorities Causing All This Lawlessness”:Supreme Court Dismisses AP Govt.’s Plea Against Panchayat Election Schedule Mehal Jain25 Jan 2021 3:16 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the Andhra Pradesh state government’s challenge to the High Court decision holding that the order dated 08.01.2021 issued by the State Election Commission notifying the election schedule for the local bodies need not be interfered with.The bench headed by Justice S. K. Kaul was hearing the state’s SLP against the division bench verdict of the High…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the Andhra Pradesh state government’s challenge to the High Court decision holding that the order dated 08.01.2021 issued by the State Election Commission notifying the election schedule for the local bodies need not be interfered with.The bench headed by Justice S. K. Kaul was hearing the state’s SLP against the division bench verdict of the High Court, holding that the facts and circumstances of the case does not warrant suspension of the SEC order. The AP High Court was dealing with a Writ Appeal filed by the APSEC challenging the interim order dated 11.01.2021 passed by a single judge suspending the election notification issued by the APSEC for Gram panchayat elections.Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state government, argued, “How can the election happen in these circumstances? Over 5 lakh staff members have to be vaccinated. The police personnel will also have to get vaccinated! Should we not make sure that they are vaccinated before the polls? Even Goa has postponed its elections!”He urged that the elections may commence from March 1 after all health workers have received vaccine shots by the end of January.”Whenever there are to be elections, you come to the Court! The point of the HC order was to have elections held and it is the SEC which has to hold them!”, observed Justice Kaul.The bench also expressed surprise that the government is favouring the Single Bench’s order which, the court said, is devoid of any reasons.”The High Court cannot decide if the elections and the vaccination drive can happen simultaneously. Should we ask the police to abandon the vaccination drive and hold the polls? , pressed Mr. Rohatgi.”Look at the grounds in your petition. How is the State Election Commissioner acting in a malafide manner? And employees’ associations are passing resolutions against him?”, remarked Justice Kaul.Even as Mr. Rohatgi tried to convince the Court that the state is not concerned with the dispute with the Commissioner, Justice Kaul commented, “Your appeal only gives this impression! You are talking about when he will retire and all! In the past, elections have successfully been held in even more difficult circumstances! So how can there be resolutions against the Commissioner?”Ego problems between two authorities are causing all this lawlessness. This cannot be allowed! The Court will not be party to an ego battle!…Some decisions are political and some are administrative. We will not assume everyone’s functions! Some decisions have to be taken by the SEC”, observed Justice Kaul.”We are getting the feeling that the real issue is actually something else and not what is being argued here”, he added.”Elections have been held even during the pandemic. They were conducted in Kerala and though there may have been a spike in the cases subsequently, it cannot be attributed to the elections! You cannot blame the judge or anyone else!”, noted Justice Kaul.The bench also came down heavily on the intervenors in the matter- the AP Govt. Employees’ Federation, doctors and bureaucrats, calling them “uncalled for”- “These intervenors are concretising our faith in the view taken by us. Their presence is increasing the credibility of our order”, said the bench, dismissing the pleas.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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