The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed for 10 days an order of the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (SEC) of January 3 publishing a revised final list of candidates for the by-election in ward number 45 of the Madurai Corporation.

The by-election is scheduled for January 10.

Justice P.Jyothimani passed the interim order on a petition filed by K.Murugeswari, DMK candidate in the by-election. She submitted that three others K.Chandrasekaran, A.Gounder and P.Rajendran also filed their nominations. During scrutiny on December 30, the nominations filed by Mr.Chandrasekaran and Mr.Gounder were rejected by the Returning Officer. Mr.Rajendran withdrew his nomination. Only her nomination was found to be in order and it was accepted. The District Election Officer (DEO) while issuing Form-6 (final list of candidates) on January 3 had included the names of the other three persons pursuant to the impugned statutory order of the State Election Commission directing the DEO to accept their nominations. The Commission's action cancelling the proceedings of the Returning Officer in publishing the list of validly nominated candidate in Form 6 on December 30 and further directing to revise the list was arbitrary and illegal. Mr.Justice Jyothimani said he was prima facie satisfied that the impugned order of the SEC was without jurisdiction and it deserved to be interfered with as an interim measure. Accordingly, there would be an order of interim stay for 10 days. The Judge made it clear that the election should be conducted as per schedule. It was only the impugned order of the SEC that was being stayed. He ordered notice and posted the matter for further hearing after 10 days.

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