VIJAYAWADA: The AP government got a reprieve on Friday with an AP High Court division bench granting a stay order on the single judge verdict which ordered fresh elections to Parishads – MPTS and ZPTC.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Ninala Jayasurya, however, ordered that the counting should not be carried out until the final verdict and postponed the next hearing to July 27.
The division bench order comes a month after the single judge cancelled the elections to MPTCs and ZPTCs in the state. Acting on the petition filed by state election commissioner Nilam Sawhney, the division bench stayed the order given by Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy on May 21 who ordered fresh elections on the ground that the SEC did not follow the Supreme Court guidelines.
SEC advocate S. Niranjan Reddy said that Telugu Desam leader Varla Ramaiah filed a petition seeking fresh elections for MPTCs and ZPTCs following the implementation of model code of conduct before four weeks of election date. He said that similarly Jana Sena leader Ch. Srinivas Rao filed a petition for fresh elections but did not seek implementation of the model code of conduct four weeks before the polls. He said that the judge dismissed the petition of Ramaiah and gave verdict in the petition of Srinivas Rao despite the fact that he did not seek a four-week norm and, hence, the order was wrong.
The advocate for Jana Sena, V. Venugopala Rao, said that the client did not mention the four weeks in the petition but took the same to the notice of the judge during arguments. He claimed that the SEC did not follow the SC guidelines in the conduct of Parishad elections.
Lawyer Niranjan Reddy said that the HC can use its powers for conducting elections according to the Constitution and not for the stalling of elections. He said the election process was completed and urged the court to dismiss the verdict calling for fresh polls.
The HC bench opined that a thorough hearing of the case should be conducted and said that they would hear the case in the first week of August. Niranjan Reddy said that the ballot boxes were brought from other state hence they should be returned. The HC bench said that there were no elections so there was no hurry to return them. Reddy then said that there were elections in Tamil Nadu and appealed the court to hear the case as early as possible preferably in the first week of July month.
The HC bench said that there are important cases in July first week and postponed the case to July 27.