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SC relief to reserved candidates over caste certificate

Friday, February 03, 2012
By A Special Correspondent

In a major relief to the beleaguered candidates contesting in reserved wards in ten municipal corporations, the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Bombay High Court verdict mandating them to submit vigilance committee certificates along with their caste certificates while filing their nomination papers. The SC order means that candidates contesting the civic elections will now not be required to file vigilance committee certificates or affidavits prescribed by the State Election Commission (SEC) while filing their nomination papers.

In view of the above development, the date for scrutiny of nomination papers has been postponed to February 3. Candidates can withdraw their nomination papers on February 4, while allotment of election symbols will be made on February 6. So far a total of 18,881 nomination papers from candidates have been received in the ten MCs for 502 seats, of which nomination papers received from reserved candidates number 5,219.

Had the SC not granted the much-needed relief, it would have put the electoral aspirations of about 6,336 candidates in a quandary as in 7,334 cases the candidates had been issued validity certificates without the vigilance committee report of the committee headed by the district collector.

The maximum number of cases of candidates not having the vigilance committee certificates were witnessed in Pimpri-Chinchwad – 1,760 candidates in 2,193 cases. In Mumbai, 232 candidates in 29 cases did not have the vigilance committee certificates. In Thane, 468 candidates in 514 cases did not have the vigilance committee certificates.

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