SEC held guilty on contempt of court charge

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Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Jan 23 (UNI) Justice B R Gavai of the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has held State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nand Lal guilty of contempt of court but refrained from handing out a punishment considering ''his unblemished career spanning 35 years''.

The court refused to accept the last-minute apology tendered by the SEC. Mr Lal has been given a period of 30 days for filing an appeal against the judgement.

The contempt petition against Mr Lal had been filed by Prashant Bamb who had challenged the SEC's decision to hold Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad elections in 2006 in accordance to the old seat reservation arrangement, despite the matter being pending in the courts.

Mr Lal was issued a notice as to why he should not be held guilty of contempt of court. Initially, he did not appear before the court citing some reasons, including that he was not issued notice in the prescribed format.

Following the final hearing on the contempt petition last evening, Justice Gavai held the SEC guilty of contempt of court, but did not sentence him considering his service record.

However, the SEC was admonished and asked not to indulge in such activity in the future that would amount to a contempt of the court.

UNI XR NM/MAZ KK VC2010

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