The Madras High Court on Friday ordered conduct of local body elections in the State by November 17.
The Tamil Nadu State Election Commission was ordered to issue a notification by September 18 and complete the entire election process by November 17.
The First Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar passed the order on a batch of writ appeals including the one preferred by Tamil Nadu State Election Commission (TNSEC) challenging a single judge's order on the issue and another filed by DMK praying for conduct of elections at the earliest.
Holding that it may not be necessary to upload the entire affidavits filed by the contestants, with regard to their criminal antecedents, on the election commission's website since there were chances of it crashing due to overload, the Bench said the Commission could collate the data and then upload it.
The TNSEC had challenged an order passed by Justice N. Kirubakaran who on October 4, 2016 quashed the September 26 notification for conduct of elections on October 17 and 19 for non compliance of Rule 24 of the Tamil Nadu Panchayat (Election) Rules of 1995 which contemplates issuance of advance notifications.
Further, taking serious note of people with criminal antecedents getting elected to the civic bodies, the judge had directed the TNSEC to make it mandatory for the contestant to disclose their criminal history. He also ordered the Commission to write to political parties to desist from fielding such candidates and to complete the elections by December 31.
However, the elections were not conducted within the time stipulated by the single judge since the Commission went on appeal against his judgement.