AMARAVATI: A division bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court has quashed the stay proceedings and has given permission to go ahead with the conduct of the poll procedure tomorrow on Thursday, April 8. The Division Bench, however, ordered that counting of votes and declaration of results, scheduled for April 10, be not taken up till further orders.
On Tuesday, a single bench comprising of Justice Durga Prasad Rao issued stay orders on the conduct of the polls and ordered the SEC to file an affidavit on the 15th of this month. The AP High Court stated that the State Election Commission (SEC) notification on the ZPTC and MPTC elections by the new Election Commissioner Nilam Sawhney had not complied with previous Supreme Court orders to enforce the Election Code four weeks before polling.
Separate petitions were filed by the BJP, TDP and Jana Sena objecting to the polls. While the BJP sought a directive against continuing with last year’s notifications, the TDP sought directives to SEC to first implement the four-week Model Code of Conduct before the elections. After finding fault with the SEC, the HC issued stay orders on the MP/ZPTC elections.
The SEC on Tuesday night filed an appeal in the High Court challenging the single-judge order which came up for hearing on Wednesday. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C Praveen Kumar, struck down Justice Durga Prasad's order.
Advocate General Sriram on behalf of the government and CV Mohan Reddy on behalf of the SEC filed their submissions. In their submissions, the counsels said that one of the petitioners -TDP leader Varla Ramaiah had no standing to file this petition as he was not participating in the MPTC ZPTC polls.
The Division Bench in its observations said that it did not feel the necessity to interfere in the election procedure and that there was a need to follow the 28-days code to be imposed by the SEC as stated by the single bench and quashed the stay proceedings, paving way for the conduct of the MPTC ZPTC polls on April 8.