State withdraws petition in SC

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishanan permitted the State government to withdraw the petition after Karnataka submitted that it was ready to conduct the elections as per the direction of the Karnataka High Court.

As soon as the matter came up for hearing, Additional Advocate General K M Nataraj and advocate V N Raghupathy said the bench might permit the State to withdraw the petition in order to avoid the displeasure of the court.

In the petition, the government had challenged the March 1 ruling of the high court that refused to grant time till May-end for the municipal body election due to the ongoing school examinations in Bangalore.

On the appeal of Nataraj, the apex court ordered for expunging the remarks passed by the Karnataka High Court against the Karnataka Principal Secretary of Urban Development, who did not file the interlocutory application.

The high court had expressed its displeasure at the casual and irresponsible manner the State had filed affidavits, and observed that it was the duty of the Principal Secretary and not a Deputy Secretary or Under Secretary to file affidavits before the court.

The State, in the petition, had said elections could not be held by March 30 due to the school and PUC examinations and that there would be a lack of availability of school and college buildings for voting and teachers to supervise the polls.

The State, in the petition, said more than a lakh students were appearing for these exams from Bangalore alone, which entailed 20,000 teachers being on duty and the use of 6,000 school and college buildings.

On March 1, the Karnataka High Court categorically had told the State government to furnish the final list of reservation of 198 wards to the State Election Commission (SEC) by March 3 and to hold the polls on or before March 30.

On February 22, the Supreme Court had directed the State to conduct the local body polls by March 30, as per the direction of the State high court.

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