Correspondent

CUTTACK: Just a day before the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) elections, the High Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of petitions which had challenged the State government and State Election Commission notifications pertaining to delimitation, reservation of wards and the poll notifications for forming civic body council.

A division Bench of Justice I.M. Qudusi and Justice Kumari Sanju Panda dismissed all the six petitions and imposed a cost of Rs. 10,000 each on the petitioners.

The Bench directed the petitioners -Dayanidhi Lenka, Rajiv Nanda, Nanda Kishore Jena, K.C. Malia, N.K. Sahu and Chiranjay Sahu to deposit the cost with State Legal Aid Services Authority.

The petitioners had challenged the notifications alleging that the ward delimitations, reservations of seats and even the poll notification of the State Election Commissioner were done in an “arbitrary” manner.

Adjudicating over the petitions, the HC had slapped a stay on the poll processes and had asked the State Election Commissioner not to go ahead with the proposed polls without the leave of the HC. The Election Commissioner however, obtained an order from the Supreme Court in which the Apex Court made the HC stay order in-operational.

Following the SC order, the State Election Commissioner issued poll notifications on January 7, 2009 fixing February 6 as the date of polling. The SC however, had later directed the HC to adjudicate the petitions and decide the cases before the elections.

The HC had completed hearing of the cases on January 29 and had reserved the judgment.

However, on Thursday, just before 24-hours of the poll, the verdict was pronounced in the court even as lawyers of the HC had boycotted the court proceedings in protest against the recent amendments brought in Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).