The Supreme Court on Monday put off the hearing for a day on an interim application filed by the Haryana government, seeking vacation of stay on recent amendments in the panchayati raj law, including making educational qualification mandatory to contest elections to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs).
After hearing the arguments, the Supreme Court bench of Justice J Chelameswar and Justice AM Sapre said that statistics suggested that more than 70% people would not be able to contest the elections if the educational qualification criteria was imposed. The apex court asked Haryana’s counsel to get instructions from the state government if the state was willing to drop the educational qualification criteria. The matter will be heard on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, state election commissioner Rajeev Sharma said the scrutiny of the nomination papers would be held from 3pm on September 22. The scrutiny was earlier scheduled to be held on September 21 though was postponed by a day in the wake of hearing on Monday.
A day after the apex court had stayed the amendments in the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act on September 17, the state election commission asked all district election officers to accept nomination papers from the candidates – irrespective of their educational qualification - for polls. The nomination papers were accepted with a condition that they would be subject to the outcome of the petition in the Supreme Court.
The three-phase elections to PRIs are scheduled to be held for nearly 72,000 posts of panchayat members, panchayat samitis and zila parishads on October 4, 11 and 18. Saturday was the last day for filing nominations for the first phase scheduled on October 4.