The Madras High Court on Tuesday observed that it expected the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct the by-election for the R.K. Nagar Assembly constituency that fell vacant since the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa last year, by December 31.
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar made the observation while disposing as infructuous a writ petition filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, representing by its organising secretary R.S. Bharathi, seeking a direction to weed out bogus voters before holding the poll.
The first Division Bench held that there was no necessity to pass any orders on the issue since the election officials had already removed the names of 45,819 voters from the rolls for the constituency though the petitioner party wanted only 44,999 entries to be deleted.
Subsequently, after hearing another connected writ petition filed by N. Maruthu Ganesh, who had been fielded as the DMK’s candidate during the bypoll, the judges ordered notices to the Centre, State Government as well as ECI and the Chief Electoral Officer.
Mr. Ganesh had sought a three-fold prayer which included initiating action against Ministers allegedly involved in bribing of voters during the rescinded bypoll campaign, payment of damages of Rs. 5 lakh since he had spent the money on canvassing for votes and framing of guidelines for the ECI on how it should handle such issues.