The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday reserved its judgment on a matter pertaining to the Punjab government’s failure to hold the municipal council elections in the state.
The high court had taken suo motu notice of the state government’s failure to hold elections to 95 municipal councils despite the completion of their tenures.
The bench had asked the state government to clarify why elections were not being held despite the fact that the tenure of the previous body had ended in July last year, even when there is a provision to hold local body elections within six months after the end of the tenure.
Punjab submitted that a “conscious decision” was taken on May 28, 2013, to hold the elections based on the census figures of 2011, “but the decision could not be implemented due to non-availability of population figures and electronic voting machines, besides the intervening parliamentary elections.”
However, the directorate of census argued that tehsil/townwise figures of population were released on May 29 last year. KS Bhatnagar, joint director, said there was no laxity on the part of the census department in providing necessary election machinery, census figures or EVMs (electronic voting machines) to Punjab in 2013.