Guj civic polls: HC seeks reply of govt, SEC on counting dates

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Ahmedabad, Feb 2 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the state government and the State Election Commission (SEC) seeking their replies on a petition challenging different dates for counting of votes for the elections to local bodies, scheduled to be held later this month.

The petitioners have sought the HC's direction to quash the January 23 circular issued by the SEC fixing February 23 and March 2 as the dates for counting of votes.

The notices were issued by a division bench of Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh J Vora on a petition filed jointly by Natwar Mahida, Govind Parmar and Jagdish Makwana.

The matter has been posted for hearing on February 9.

'Different dates of counting in respect of municipal corporations and other self-governing bodies will be a hurdle in holding a free and fair election, as the date of counting of six municipal corporations is prior to the date of elections of other bodies. It is therefore likely to influence the voters,' the plea said.

Petitioners' lawyer PS Champaneri said they have requested the high court to quash the SEC's circular.

As per the SEC, elections to six municipal corporations will be held on February 21 and counting of votes will be taken up on February 23. The polls for municipalities and panchayats will take place on February 28, and counting of votes will be done on March 2. PTI KA NSK NSK