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State govt moves SC

Disapproval of date for district council by-poll

SHILLONG: The State government has filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the verdict of the High Court of Meghalaya that disapproved the date fixed by the Cabinet to hold by-polls to seven district council constituencies.
As per the calendar fixed by the Cabinet, the election process will start from the publication of draft electoral rolls on October 10 and the date of polls is set as December 13. The counting will be held on December 16.
However, on September 1, the High Court disapproved the calendar fixed by the Cabinet while hearing a PIL on the issue and instead directed the government to file an affidavit by considering an earlier date for the by-polls before the next hearing on September 8.
Supreme Court lawyer and the counsel for the State government, Ranjan Mukherjee, said over phone from Delhi that the stand of the State government is that it would not be able to change the date of by-polls, which it has already fixed.
Mukherjee mentioned before the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the matter needs urgent listing which was accepted by the Bench and the petition will come up for hearing on September 9.
Mukherjee said fixing the date of by-polls is the job of the State government and it is not for the judiciary to interfere into the same.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Cabinet had examined the issue of holding the by-polls as per the calendar fixed by the government.
The Cabinet also went through the observations made by Governor V. Shanmuganathan who referred to the order of the High Court regarding the disapproval of the date and wanted the government to re-examine the matter.
However, the stand of the Cabinet was to go ahead with the by-polls scheduled for December 13 and publication of draft electoral rolls on October 10.

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