Poll officials appear in High Court again
State Election Commissioner M. Malik Feroze Khan and the secretary of the commission T.S. Rajasekar sat through the entire day in the Madras High Court on Friday, only to be directed to appear again on Tuesday for the hearing of a contempt of court application filed against them by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for not having conducted the local body polls in the State within the time frame set by the court.
It was the third day that the two Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials appeared in the court following a statutory notice issued to them by the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar on the contempt application.
They sat through the entire day in the court for the first time on Monday and went back in vain since the case was not taken up for hearing on that day. On Tuesday, Senior Counsel A.L. Somayaji made a representation before a Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee, since the Chief Justice was on leave, and recorded the presence of the two officials.
Listed for Tuesday
The Bench, however, refused to dispense with the appearance of the officers following a stiff opposition by Senior Counsel P. Wilson, representing DMK, and directed them to appear again on Friday.
On Friday too, the contempt application, listed as the 22nd item in the cause list could not be taken up for hearing till the closing of the working hours, as the Bench led by the Chief Justice was preoccupied in hearing other cases. This forced Mr. Wilson to mention the matter before the court and obtain an order to list the case again on Tuesday for deciding whether there was wilful disobedience of court orders. In his forceful submissions before the Bench, the Senior Counsel said that the law on contempt of courts was very clear and “the two officials should be sent to jail straight away” for not having issued the notification for local body polls by September 18 and completing the entire election process by November 17 as ordered by the court on September 1. “They are continuing to defy the orders of this court till date,” he contended.
As carried in TH