The Election Commission of India (ECI) on March 28 told the Supreme Court that it will hold by-elections to the vacant Assembly seats of Tiruparankundram, Ottapidaram and Aravakurichi in Tamil Nadu within a reasonable time.
The counsel, appearing for the ECI, told this to a bench of Justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer, which was hearing a plea filed by the DMK seeking a direction to the poll panel for holding the by-elections to these three vacant Assembly seats.The bench, while taking on record the submissions of the ECI’s counsel, disposed of the petition and observed that the court cannot determine the timing of elections and it was for the poll panel to decide.
The counsel, appearing for the DMK, had earlier told the apex court that there are 21 vacant assembly seats in Tamil Nadu but the poll panel has notified bypolls for only 18 seats. The DMK’s counsel had said that the bypolls to 18 vacant seats were scheduled to be held on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha polls in the state. He had said that the ECI should be asked to hold the by-elections on the remaining three Assembly seats along with the general elections.
On March 15, the apex court had asked the ECI to respond to the DMK’s plea seeking bypolls for Tiruparankundram, Ottapidaram and Aravakurichi assembly constituencies. The poll panel had earlier told the court that the bypolls for three Assembly seats were not announced as some election petitions were pending in the Madras High Court.
The Ottapidaram constituency is represented by disqualified AIADMK MLA Sundararaj, while Aravakurichi is represented by Senthil Balaji, an AIADMK legislator who is now with the DMK. Thiruparankundram legislator AK Bose died last year.