The Election Commission has made it clear that since the Supreme Court has declared that “persons in lawful custody - whether convicted in a criminal case or otherwise - cannot contest elections”, those in custody will be barred from contesting the August 21 by-poll to the Avanigadda Legislative Assembly segment in Andhra Pradesh and Mandya and Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka.

The poll notification is scheduled to be issued by the respective Governors on July 27. The nomination for the Legislative Council by-poll will open on July 29. Informed sources in EC said that the Supreme Court’s order has to be implemented as it has come from the highest court of the country. This will be the first time the order is going to be implemented.

They added that on the day of scrutiny, if the Returning Officer (RO) is satisfied that any of the nominee for the poll was found to be in legal custody, his/her papers will be rejected.

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