Andhra Pradesh High Court gave nod for conducting polls for Gram Panchayats in State

Sreya Kanugula

On January 21, 2021, the YSR administration suffered a setback when the High Court of Andhra Pradesh gave the go-ahead to conduct elections at the gram panchayat levels in phases of four from the 5th of February.

The High Court’s division bench led by Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami struck out the single judge order given on January 11th concerned with the suspension of the announced election schedule, which was given by the State Election Commissioner (SEC) N Ramesh Kumar.

The bench allowed for the appeal of the SEC against the order given by the single judge and gave a directive to the Commission to conduct the elections at the gram panchayat level hassle-free.

On the 8th of January, the announcement for the administration of the gram panchayat elections was made by the SEC.

It was stated that they would take place in four phases and would begin on the 5th of February, even with the contentions made by the state government.

The State government didn’t think it was possible to hold these elections in light of the vaccination program being conducted for the coronavirus.

The notification for the elections’ first phase will be issued on the 23rd of January as scheduled.

The State government had challenged this announcement made by the SEC and Justice M Ganga Rao, another High Court judge was the one who gave an order of suspension upon the poll schedule on the 11th of January.

An immediate appeal was filed by the SEC in front of the division bench.

After listening to both parties’ arguments on 19th January, the bench made the decision to reserve the order and deliver it on 21st January.

At present, the State government’s in contemplation of moving the Top Court in order to get the polls postponed.

In reaction to the order of the division bench’s order, SEC Kumar told the Commission that the elections for the gram panchayats will be conducted as per the planned schedule.

He told them that the government had assured the Court of their future co-operation to conduct the polls smoothly along with the help of the Commission.

Mr. Kumar added that soon, a meeting would be conducted among the district Collectors, SPs as well as the Chief Secretary on the subject of the arrangements required for the polls to be conducted.