Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu local body polls: No bar on holding indirect elections, Madras High Court rules

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The court dismisses the VCK’s plea against an ordinance for changing the mode of election to posts of mayors and municipal chairpersons from direct to indirect.

The Madras High Court on Tuesday dismissed a writ petition filed by VCK president Thol. Thirumavalavan to declare as unconstitutional an ordinance promulgated by the State government on November 20 for changing the mode of election to the posts of mayors and municipal chairpersons from direct to indirect.

Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad rejected the petition at the stage of admission itself, stating that they did not find any bar under the Constitution to holding indirect elections.

“Merely because the litigant feels that direct elections is a better mode, the other mode cannot be declared invalid,” the judges said.

During the hearing, the petitioner’s counsel contended that indirect elections may lead to horse trading. She claimed that the State had a history of such incidents. It was also argued that voters should be given the right to elect their mayors and municipal chairpersons directly, given the nature of duties attached to the posts.

However, the judges refused to interfere with the ordinance in the absence of any express illegality. They did not find any infringement of a fundamental or Constitutional right as a result of the State government having decided to change the mode of election for the posts of Mayor as well as Municipal Chairperson.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 2:46:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-local-body-polls-no-bar-on-holding-indirect-elections-madras-high-court-rules/article30271435.ece

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