The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted an interim stay on the Katol assembly by-poll. The court responding to the petition challenging the elections, has issued notice to the Election Commission and the State government asking them to file their replies by April 2.
The matter was being heard in the court of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Pushpa Ganediwala where the Election Commission could not furnish a solid reason over necessity of the election. The Election Commission sought two weeks’ time to file its reply.
The court then going through all the aspects of the issue accepted the prayer of the petitioners and granted an interim stay on the elections. Chairman of Katol Panchayat Samiti and Director Agriculture Produce Market Committee Sandeep Sarode had filed the writ petition stating that the elections for Maharashtra assembly were due in October 2019 and holding by-elections would be waste of money, energy and human resources.
The Katol assembly seat had fell vacant following resignation by sitting MLA Ashish Deshmukh, who quit BJP and joined Congress. The Election Commission had announced the by-polls on March 10 with elections scheduled on April 11. The counting of votes was to be held on May 23.
On behalf of Election Commission it was contended that the court cannot interfere in the process as the schedule of by-poll has already been declared. Rejecting this plea, the court said the petitioner has not demanded to cancel the elections neither he has challenged any candidate. The petitioner sighting different reasons has asked for a stay on the election, the court said. The court said it would give the required explanation regarding interference and cancellation in its final order on the petition.