Special Correspondent

She was chosen from three names suggested by Government

Panel of names sent this morning Nanjil Kumaran, K.V.S. Murthy two other namesEC transfer order issued on March 14Order not binding ruled High Court

New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday asked the Tamil Nadu Government to appoint Letika Saran Chennai Police Commissioner in place of R. Nataraj, who was shifted for alleged violation of the model code of conduct.

The Commission chose her name from a panel of three names sent by the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary this morning in compliance with a direction issued on Wednesday to enable the Commission to select a suitable officer for the post. Besides Ms. Letika Saran, the State sent the names of Nanjil Kumaran and K.V.S. Murthy.

On March 14, the Commission wanted Mr. Nataraj transferred. Following a batch of petitions, the Madras High Court held that the Commission's direction was not binding on the State till formal notification on commencement of the election process was issued.

Even as the Commission's appeal in the Supreme Court is listed for hearing on April 28, it asked the State Government last week to send a panel of names for replacing Mr. Nataraj and on Wednesday a reminder was sent.

Commission sources said the State administration did not comply with the first deadline and sought the retention of Mr. Nataraj. The EC then pointed to the Memorandum of Understanding reached through the Supreme Court among the Commission, the Centre and the States, which inter alia, gave it the powers to ask for replacement of an official involved in election work by an officer of its choice to ensure a free and fair poll.

It was only after the receipt of that letter, the State Government complied and sent a panel of names, they said.

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