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Schedule to remain unaffected by HC verdict

Thursday, February 02, 2012
By A Special Correspondent

State Election Commission’s (SEC) Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayan on Wednesday clarified that there will be no change in the election schedule for the 27 zilla parishads and 10 municipal corporations in view of the Bombay High Court judgement in the OBC Caste Certificate case. Speaking to newspersons, she said that the Returning Officers (ROs), Municipal Commissioners (MCs) and District Collectors (DCs) in case of ZPs have the powers to postpone the scrutiny of nomination papers by a day.

In view of the HC verdict being received late on Wednesday evening, the scrutiny of nomination papers in the 10 MCs will now take place on Thursday.

She added that the SEC is in no way concerned with the issuing and verification of the caste certificates by candidates contesting from reserved constituencies.

The ROs are merely concerned with ascertaining the caste certificate, validity certificate and vigilance committee certificate submitted by the candidate.

SEC questions state over extension to Kumar
The state government’s move to grant a three-month extension to BMC Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar has been questioned by Satyanarayan. The election commissioner has sought to know from the state as to how could it grant the extension to Kumar.

Replying to queries over the contention that Kumar was not related to the poll process as claimed by the office of the state Chief Secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad, she said that as per the law for the SEC all MCs in case of corporations and DCs in case of ZPs were election officers. Satyanarayan stated that as per the law during elections the government needs to consult the poll body on anything connected to officers on poll duty.

Simultaneous counting possible?
The SEC is now in a position to hold simultaneous counting of votes for 27 ZPs and 10 MCs on February 17. Satyanarayan disclosed that the commission has received 1.30 lakh Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from the Election Commission of India. A further 25,000 new EVMs have been received from the Electronics Corporation of India, Hyderabad.

Satyanarayan said that given the availability of the EVMs in adequate numbers the SEC is now in a position to hold counting of votes for both ZP and corporation elections on February 17. Thane Municipal Commissioner has expressed his preparedness to hold counting of votes on February 16 itself.

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