Amaravati, June 25 (PTI): A Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday stayed a single judges order issued on May 21 directing the State Election Commission (SEC) to come out with a fresh notification for resuming the poll process to the mandal and zilla parishad territorial constituencies.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice N Jaya Surya, however, directed the SEC not to take up the counting of votes of the parishad elections conducted on April 8.
Hearing an appeal filed by the SEC against the single judges order, the Division Bench observed that the issue needed a thorough review and posted the petition to July 27 for further hearing.
On May 21, Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy of the High Court set aside the SECs April 1 notification on the conduct ofelectionsto mandal and zillaparishadterritorial constituencies by calling it illegal, arbitrary and violative of the direction issued by the Supreme Court.
He directed the SEC to issue the fresh notification resuming theelectionprocess from where it was stopped (in March 2020).
In a rebuke of the StateElectionCommissioner Nilam Sawhney, Justice Satyanarayana Murthy had observed that the present situation is a fine example of democratic backsliding and said theimpugned notification was issued in deliberate and intentional violation of the Supreme Court direction of March 18, 2020.
Elections to the mandal parishad and zilla parishad territorial constituencies in the State were conducted on April 8 in accordance with the order previously passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice C Praveen Kumar.
Counting of votes was, however, not taken up as per the court order.
Hearing the earlier petition filed by Jana Sena Party, the single judge passed the orders on May 21.
The Division Bench began hearing the appeal filed by the SEC on Friday and stayed only the notification part of the single judges order. PTI DBV NVG NVG