Political party moves SC, seeks postponement of J-K polls

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Jammu and Kashmir
New Delhi, Nov 7: Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference (ANC) today moved the Supreme Court seeking postponement of Assembly polls in the flood-ravaged state, saying the situation is not conducive for election as thousands are still displaced.

As the counsel for ANC mentioned its plea, a bench of justices J Chelameswar and S A Bobde said it was concerned over relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims and since the bench headed by the Chief Justice is hearing a PIL on the issue, this matter be also listed before that court.

"What concerns this court the most is the rehabilitation issue and the bench headed by the Chief Justice has an overall view of the situation. So this matter be placed before the CJI today itself," it said.

During the brief hearing, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for ANC, said, "7.2 million voters are affected. Around 2,600 villages were hit by the floods and around 390 villages were submerged. The rehabilitation work is still not complete.

"The question is can the Election Commission ensure a free and fair election? Can it reach out to every voters? Most of the voters have not been able to go back to their homes." Terming the situation as "precarious", he said notices be issued to all political parties.

He informed the court that the PIL of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party leader Bhim Singh relates only to relief and rehabilitation work.

The bench, however, said the court of the CJI has an "overall picture" of the situation and the plea of ANC will be heard by the same bench.

ANC, in its plea filed through Muzzafar Shah, has sought judicial intervention to postpone Assembly polls in the state on the ground that the conditions in the state are not conducive. It has sought quashing of the election schedule till the situation becomes congenial for polls.

The party has said that it was not against the election and has been opposing the timing on the ground that the rehabilitation of millions of flood victims is yet to conclude.

PTI

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