SC seeks response from Centre, Attorney General on EC's poser

A Bench of Justices Altamas and A K Patnaik sought a response from the Centre on the issue and asked the Attorney General to assist the court on the issue.It also issued a notice to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, a political party in Andhra Pradesh on a petition filed by the Election Commission.

The Bench passed the direction after the Election Commission moved the apex court urging it to lay down a clear law on the issue for interpreting Section 151A of the Representation of Peoples Act (RPA).

Under Section 151A, it is mandatory for the Election Commission to conduct polls within six months from the date of vacancy in a particular constituency.

Counsel for the poll panel Meenakshi Arora submitted that the issue needs to be resolved as the Andhra Pradesh High Court had recently directed the Commission to notify polls to Sircilla and Vemulavada Assembly Constituencies along with 10 other constituencies in Telangana regions scheduled for polls on July 27.

The High Court had passed the direction on a petition by TRS questioning the decision of the Commission not to notify the election in the Sircilla and Vemulavada constituencies. It rejected the poll panel's stance that the notification could not be issued for the two constituencies since elections petitions against the elected candidates were pending before the local courts.

Aggrieved by the High Court's direction, the Election Commission had approached the apex court on the ground that a clear law has to be laid down on the issue in view of conflicting decisions.

According to the Commission, while the AP High Court had held that it was mandatory for elections to be conducted within six months irrespective of the pendency of an election petition, the Karnataka High Court it said had on another occasion held that there was no such injunction

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