Haryana panchayat polls put off till SC decides on plea against educational criteria

  • HTC, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2015 19:01 IST

Panchayat elections in Haryana have been deferred till the adjudication of the petition filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the incorporation of amendments, including the one making educational qualification mandatory for candidates.

The apex court had last week granted a stay on the amendments.The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that regular hearing on the matter will begin from October 7.

It also observed that in such circumstances, it will not be feasible to hold elections as per the schedule notified by the state election commission (SEC).

The SEC poll notification was done in accordance with the amended law. “Even if the state government wants to proceed with the elections, the SEC will have to notify the schedule afresh in tune with the unamended Act,’’ said an official.

After the apex court had stayed the operation of the amended panchayati raj law, the state government moved an interim application seeking vacation of the stay orders.

The apex court on Monday had asked Haryana attorneys to seek instructions from the state government over dropping the contentious minimum educational qualification clause in the amended law. However, the state government told the apex court on Tuesday that it was not willing to do so.


The state government asked the Supreme Court to decide whether there could be an educational qualification as an eligibility criteria for the candidates aspiring to contest the elections.

The apex court bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre was told by attorney general Mukul Rohatgi that the Haryana government would prefer the issue to be decided by the court, saying "We don't want half-way house."

"It is best to decide the issue one way or the other," Rohatgi told the court.

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