PIL for holding Lok Sabha, assembly elections jointly

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Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Oct 17 (UNI) The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has served notices to the state election commissions, Central Election Commission, Chief Election Commissioner and principal secretary (general administration, Maharashtra) to hold the ensuing Lok Sabha (LS) and Assembly elections jointly, as sought by a PIL.

The Bench, comprising Justices N V Dabholkar and N D Deshpande, yesterday responding to a PIL filed by one Suhas Yelikar, stating that the LS elections will be held in April 2009, while Assembly elections are to be conducted in October 2009.

As per the section 15 (2) of Representation of People Act, the chief election officer can conduct LS and Assembly elections jointly, saving around Rs 300 crore, the petition said.

Mr Yelikar had earlier submitted a memorandum to the authority concerned on the issue. However, it was not responded following which he filed the PIL.

He also stated that the additional work of government employees will also be reduced with the joint election.

Mr Yelikar's lawyer Advocate Anil Golegaonkar brought to the notice of the court that the LS and Assembly elections in Maharashtra, AP, Karnataka, Sikkim and Assam were held jointly in 1999 and this had saved Rs 1,000 crore of the Government.

The respondents will have to file a reply till November 24.

UNI XR RN NY BST1304

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