SC declines to interfere with Bombay HC order on Goa panchayat polls

A view of the Supreme Court of India.

A view of the Supreme Court of India. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to interfere with a Bombay High Court order to complete elections to 186 panchayats in Goa within 45 days.

A Vacation Bench led by Justice Dinesh Maheshwari refused a plea by the State of Goa to postpone the polls till the end of September.

The Bench noted that the notification for the elections was issued on June 30 in compliance with the High Court order on June 28. "That being the position, we find no reason to interfere in the process of election," the court observed.

The counsel for Goa argued that the term of previous panchayats was completed only on June 18.

Conducting polls in the middle of the ongoing monsoon season, when the danger of flash floods was high, would strain the State’s resources reserved for relief work. Besides welfare works such as construction of roads and financial grants for the flood-affected would have to stop because of the model code of conduct.

“We are more than eager to comply with the election process. Give us time till the third week of September and we will complete the process,” the State counsel said. The court however did not relent.

“We find no reason to interfere with the High Court order or the process of elections. However, in the interest of justice, the State Election Commission is free to move the High Court in view of any difficulty,” the Bench, which also comprised Justice Krishna Murari, noted.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 9:30:04 pm |