Tuesday 16 Aug 2022

Govt sets Aug 10 date for p’yat polls after Court rejects plea

THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 01, 2022, 12:10 AM IST


The State government on Thursday evening issued the notification fixing August 10 as the polling date for the panchayat elections, hours after the Bombay High Court at Goa rejected its plea for a month in addition to its earlier deadline of 45 days.

Elections to constitute the new local self-governing bodies in 186 village panchayats will now be held on August 10 and counting will be taken up two days later on August 12. 

The terms of these 186 panchayats had expired last week and the State government had appointed government officials as administrators to manage their day-to-day affairs.

The elections will not be fought on party lines.

The State Election Commission (SEC) which is the statutory autonomous body entrusted to conduct the polls had expressed its readiness to hold the polls in time and had even conducted an elaborate exercise for delimitation of wards in all the 186 panchayats.

The State government however intervened and put off the election citing the recent Supreme Court judgements related to panchayat elections in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh which mandated an elaborate data related exercise referred to as the 'triple test' for implementing reservation quota for OBCs.

The State government's move to push the elections beyond the expiry of their terms and appoint administrators for the interim, was challenged by members of Soccoro and Calangute panchayats before the Bombay High Court. 

The High Court on Thursday upheld the challenge and ordered the State government to hold the elections within 45 days. On Thursday the High Court also rejected the plea of a month's time. 

With Advocate General Devidas Pangam ruling out the option of challenging the judgement before the Supreme Court due to paucity of time, it left the State government no other option but to notify the elections which it did late on Thursday evening.

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