PMK files petition in HC over TN civic polls

    Chennai, Aug 16 (PTI) The Madras High Court todaydirected its registry to tag a petition filed by PMKchallenging the constitutional validity of two amendmentsby the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supplyregarding to civic body elections. The Division Bench comprising Justices Huluvadi G Rameshand M V Muralidharan directed the registry to tag it alongwith similar petitions filed by DMK. The matter relates to the petition challengingconstitutional validity of the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (2ndAmendment) Act 2016 and the Tamil Nadu Panchayat (2ndamendment) Act 2016. The Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (2nd Amendment) Act 2016paves way for indirect selection of Mayor, whereas till dateit was a direct election by the people to the post of theMayor. The Tamil Nadu Panchayat (2nd amendment) Act 2016paves way for conduct of local body elections on the basis ofthe census taken in the year 2001 and not on the basis of thefresh census that was taken in the year 2011 on which therecent assembly elections were held. In his petition, PMK State Deputy General Secretary ATamilarasu contended that the present amendment was introducedonly on the basis of the outcome of the assembly elections bythe ruling party, when it apprehended that if no change wasbrought in the local body elections, the results would be infavour of the opposition party and other parties in variousPanchayats, Municipalities and Corporations in Tamil Nadu. Noting that the benefit ensured by the Constitution toreserve seats for the reserved category shall be based on thepopulation of the concerned area, the petitioner submittedthat it is necessary and justifiable to adopt the latestcensus of 2011, instead of 2001. Stating that the object of the Constitution was tomake local bodies perform effectively as vibrant democraticunits of self-governance, the petitioner submitted that theamendments to the Acts are depriving people of their rightsand compelling to adopt the unchanged delimitation what basedthe election, which in turn defeats the very object of theConstitution. The present amendments were made to get over theapprehension or fear of defeat by the ruling party in thelocal body elections, the petitioner alleged and sought todeclare the impugned amendments as unconstitutional,motivated, unreasonable and ultra virus of constitution, hecontended. PTI COR ROHRC

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