Govt can't stop administration citing poll code: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court on Monday castigated the Maharashtra government, stating that administrative decisions cannot come to a standstill just because election code of conduct has come into force.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Farooq Motorwala, convict in the 1993 serial train blasts case whose plea for parole extension was turned by the Minister of State for Home and Prisons, which cited that the code of conduct “was in force and thus no decision can be taken”.

Motorwala’s advocate N N Gavankar arguing the case, told the court: “When no order was passed till March 18, Motorwala made enquiry with the ministry concerned and was informed that no orders on parole applications or on extension applications would be passed until after the Lok Sabha elections.”

A division bench of justices N H Patil and Mridula Bhatkar, after hearing the petition said: “Code of Conduct does not mean that the government will not take any administrative decisions. Normal and routine functions of the government cannot come to a standstill and be suspended.”

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