The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court reserved its order on Tuesday on the writ petition filed by Katol panchayat samiti chairperson Sandip Sarode. After hearing both the parties, a division bench consisting of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Pushpa Ganediwala said the verdict would be announced on April 12 at 2.30 pm.
The petitioner had stated that the elected candidate will get less than three months to function and this election is an exercise in futility.
The petitioner sought a direction to the Election Commission to cancel the by-poll slated on April 11.
According to petitioner, the results will be declared on May 23. Monsoon Session of the State Legislature would be held in June 2019 in which new member of the Assembly would be administered oath. In October 2019, Maharashtra Assembly elections are due and its notification could be issued in September. Hence, the new MLA would barely get three months to work. Hence, spending public money to conduct election is not worthful.
The candidate elected by public in by-election would have to face the public again. The election may cost rs 4 crore to rs 5 crore to State exchequer. On March 19, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had granted ad-interim stay to decision of Election Commission to hold election for Katol seat.
The post was vacant after Ashish Deshmukh resigned from the Assembly and BJP last year.
The petitioner stated as per mandate of section 151-A of the Representation of Peoples Act, the elections must be held within six months from the date of vacancy but where remainder of the term of the member is less than one year. In this case, Deshmukh had resigned on October 3 while elections are slated on April 11 which is beyond the six months and results will be declared on May 23 which in effect is breach of section 151-A of RP Act and its provison.