Haryana moves SC over new civic election law

19 September 2015

The Haryana government on Friday moved the Supreme Court to defend a law that set the education qualifications mandatory for the candidates contesting panchayat and other local body elections. The court, which on Thursday stayed the government move, has agreed to hear the state government plea on Monday.

The state government informed the court that it will have to cancel the panchayat elections in case the stay on the amendment is not vacated. The panchayat elections in the state are scheduled to start on 4 October.

Friday was also the last day to file nominations for panchayat elections. The scrutiny of the nominations will take place on Monday. Meanwhile, the state government has asked the officers to accept all nominations.

The Supreme Court had stayed the operation of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act 2015, which had prescribed minimum educational qualifications and various other stipulations for contesting panchayat and other local body elections. (See: SC stays Haryana law on mandatory education for poll candidates)

The act was challenged by three people who were rendered ineligible to contest the election.

A bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar on Thursday had also issued notices to the state government and the state Election Commission seeking their response to a petition challenging the validity of the Act. The petition against the law had said that it made most of the candidates in the state ineligible and is against the constitution.

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