K’taka Govt Has Taken Away Our Powers: Election Commission Tells High Court

The Karnataka State Election Commission on Tuesday told the High Court of Karnataka that the State government had taken away its powers making it unable to hold elections to Zilla Panchayat and Taluk Panchayats as mandated by the Supreme Court. A vacation division bench of the High Court comprising Justice SG Pandit and Justice MG Uma heard the Election Commission’s petition today. Following last week’s Supreme Court direction to hold the ZP-TP elections immediately, the Commission filed a memo before the High Court to hear the pending petition citing emergency.

The High Court asked the Commission’s counsel why a memo was filed before it instead of following the Supreme Court’s direction. The counsel submitted to the Court that the State Government had withdrawn the Election Commission’s power on delimitation of constituencies and drawing up the reservation list. Without these the State EC was unable to announce the election schedule. The State had formed a separate panel for the delimitation and reservation even though the EC had completed the exercise on its own. The EC had challenged this before the High Court. The court observed that a detailed examination of the petition was necessary and adjourned the hearing to May 23.

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