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High Court tells Goa to hold panchayat election within 45 days

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Panaji, June 28 (Ajit Weekly News) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Goa government to complete the entire process of panchayat elections within 45 days.

Advocate S.N. Joshi, representing the Goa State Election Commission, told media persons that High Court’s Panaji bench has directed that the state government should issue notification in terms of rule 10, fixing of election, in the next three days.

“This has to be fixed in consultation with the State Election Commission. The court has also directed that the entire process of elections should be completed within 45 days from today,” he said.

He said that once the main date is fixed under rule 10, other processes (of reservation) will follow.

The opposition Congress has welcomed the court order.

“It is indeed a sorry state of affairs that citizens have to knock on the doors of the court to uphold democracy. Holding timely elections is the duty of the government and the Goa State Election Commission. The order of the High Court once again highlights the failure of the government and more so of the statutory bodies like the SEC which are expected to function independently and guard the statutory and constitutional mandate,” Congress Working President Yuri Alemao said.

As the term of the elected members of panchayat expired on June 19, the government has appointed administrators for all the 186 panchayats in the state.

The High Court verdict came as it heard two petitions seeking that elections be held before the expiry of term.

Sources said that the SEC had suggested three dates to hold elections, but the government had postponed it on grounds of the monsoon.

–Ajit Weekly News
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